Last Thursday, I went to a Foreign Film Series event, a showing of the movie “Darkest Hour.” I was able to go with one of my townhouse mates and I also saw many of my friends there as well! Three or four times a semester, the Foreign Film Series presents a foreign film (of course) that has been popular in its country of origin or has some kind of cultural significance. Oftentimes, they are eye-opening documentaries from the Middle East and Africa or fun animated flicks from Asia.
“Darkest Hour” is a movie that came out last year and was produced in the United Kingdom, the land of the royal family and of incredibly odd politics. The movie is also set there, exploring the political intrigue and struggles of the beginning of World War II. Specifically, it focuses on the rise of Winston Churchill from an outcast within his own party in Parliament to the Prime Minister who has to make hard decisions about the United Kingdom’s involvement in the war. It was one of the most critically acclaimed movies released last year.
I hadn’t seen the movie before and I enjoyed the opportunity to see it for free. (well, there’s a suggested donation of $2, which I gave, but. Come on. That’s practically free). It balanced seriousness with humor quite well. One of my favorite parts of the movie is when Churchill’s wife (Churchill was a borderline alcoholic and constantly smoked cigars, by the way) is bemoaning the fact that she can’t pay the bills. Churchill’s solution? He’ll make do with only three cigars a day.
Gary Oldman’s performance as Churchill was amazing and masterful. You might remember Gary Oldman from his performances as Detective James Gordon in the Dark Knight series and as Sirius Black in the Harry Potter series of movies. Of course, he looks nothing like Winston Churchill, which required him to spend over 200 hours in the makeup chair over the course of production. While researching these kind of fun facts, I also found out that Oldman ended up with nicotine poisoning multiple times throughout the filming, due to the large amount of cigars he had to smoke. Yikes.
Overall, I enjoyed the movie a lot and I’m glad that I was able to see it as part of the Foreign Film Series! It’s nice that Cedarville brings in these kinds of movies from different cultures so that we can experience things that we normally might not do on our own. It introduces different worldviews to our campus and helps us see things from a different point of view.
Till next time!