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There’s a Hollywood war film full of blistering extravagance anxious to leap from the scenes of Jonathan Teplitzky’s Churchill, but for all its tension and inspired acting, the film, based on the final days leading up to the Allied Invasion of Normandy, is refreshingly restrained. That goes double for Brian Cox’s portrayal of the famed British Prime Minister Winston Churchill; an astonishing incarnation of spirit, hope and sacrifice in the crosshairs of absolute uncertainty.
Churchill is written by Alex von Tunzelmann, a British historian whose material is pleasantly coherent despite the pedagogical tone. Tunzelmann’s interpretation of Operation Overlord puts Churchill at odds with General Eisenhower (John Slattery) over the former’s fear of an insurmountable foe, and the potential huge loss of Allied life. Much of that anxiety is derived from Churchill’s failed command at the Battle of Gallipoli during WWI, however, his position threatens to undermine the entire operation just days before its execution.
Cox’s breathtaking embodiment really shines in the following scenes of Churchill’s blustery attitude toward subordinates and especially his wife, Clementine (Miranda Richardson). Unable to grasp the realities of his age or the blatant disregard for his experience, Churchill battles depression, alcohol, and the people who surround him. Those battles threaten to undermine his marriage and his position. Eventually Churchill finds his place in the War, behind a radio microphone delivering speeches of hope. Close your eyes and marvel at Cox’s eloquent delivery. Those famous speeches rallied the Allies and inspired the people of England in a time of constant fear. It’s no wonder Churchill is regarded as the greatest Briton who ever lived. Churchill may very well be our greatest interpretation of the statesman.

Churchill is streaming now on the following services:
Movie Reelist Contributor: Chris Giroux
Chris Giroux is founder and editor-in-charge at Movie Reelist, an entertainment news and review blog serving the most fanatic moviegoers. Chris started his publication in Detroit in 2010 and has since reviewed hundreds of films and interviewed numerous talent across the country. He is an avid film festival attendee and red carpet photographer, having shot the likes of Steven Spielberg, Bill Murray, Mark Hamill, and more. Chris grew up in New Mexico, where he studied mass media writing while working in post-production and multimedia authoring. It is also where he discovered Big Trouble in Little China and Escape from New York, resulting in an unhealthy Kurt Russell obsession.

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