Gary Oldman, Joe Wright, and ‘Darkest Hour’: How to Make a Nontraditional, Oscar-Ready, and Prescient Biopic

  • Indiewire
Gary Oldman, Joe Wright, and ‘Darkest Hour’: How to Make a Nontraditional, Oscar-Ready, and Prescient Biopic
Four years ago, Oscar-nominated “The Theory of Everything” screenwriter Anthony McCarten sat down for a pint with an old chum in a country pub. What next? his friend asked. McCarten threw out a few ideas — no response. What else do you have?

Well, there was one that was really intimidating, McCarten said, about Winston Churchill. His friend replied, “Do that one. We need a portrait of leadership.”

That was before Brexit, before Trump, so it seems incredibly prescient. But really, when have we not needed leadership? “We’re living in extraordinary times, all the time,” McCarten said. “The issues that assail us are perennial. They haven’t changed since the Greeks picked up a pen.”

A hit at the fall festivals (Metascore: 72), “Darkest Hour” (Focus Features, November 22) is poised to deliver Gary Oldman a Best Actor Oscar as Winston Churchill. But as a World War II talky companion piece to silent action epic “Dunkirk,
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