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Tuesday, June 6, 2017

CHURCHILL: The Untold Story of D-Day

I didn't realize when I went to see 'CHURCHILL: The Untold Story of D-Day' last night that it was the eve of the 73rd anniversary of the event. I suppose that's why they just released it, because the film actually seems more like the kind of prestige movie that they put out at the end of the year as an Oscar contender.

Anyway, I liked it a lot and learned a lot from it. It's not really a biopic, per se, but more of a ticking-clock thriller following Prime Minister Winston Churchill in the 96 hours before D-Day. But it definitely provides rarely seen insight into his personal life and interior world. 

I love when period pics get it right, and this one flawlessly captures the nuances of the time, and plays nearly like a piece of music in its beauty and lyricism.

Brian Cox basically disappears into the character, and seems to channel the historic icon throughout the entire film. Miranda Richardson (who pretty much can do no wrong on screen as far as I'm concerned) gives a believable and powerful performance as Churchill's wife, Clementine.  I would  have loved to have seen Stanley Tucci play General Eisenhower, as was originally planned, but John Slattery adequately breathes like into the character, as does James Puerfoy as King George VI. His on-screen time is brief, but the portrayal is particularly memorable.

The film rings true on several levels, and holds up as an examination of leadership, war, heroism, and valor with vulnerability. Churchill is most definitely not deified here, but comes across as human and relatable in ways that are generally not underscored in material concerning him.

May not be for everyone, but if you have an interest in history, you might enjoy it every much.