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If you had never heard of the brilliant statesman Winston Churchill (1874-1965) you’d be hard pressed to reason why this lugubrious film was ever conceived or created; director Jonathan Teplitzky’s biopic is a dull, plodding scenario focusing on the darkest hours of Britain’s Prime Minister, at the conclusion of WWII  (aka D-Day); Brian Cox depicts Churchill as a bilious, cigar and scotch infused curmudgeon; he is depressed, cantankerous and mean, totally out of sink with General Dwight Eisenhower (John Slattery) and General Bernard Montgomery (Julian Wadham), whose strategies Churchill railed against; more buffoon than visionary he wallows in self pity, recognizing his alienation from the decision making process, a bane that is barely tolerated. His marriage is compromised; Clementine (1885-1977) (Miranda Richardson) serves as Cerberus, a watchdog patrolling, controlling his maniacal outbursts.

Two scenes salvage the tedious glumness: James Purefoy is lustrous as King George VI refusing Churchill’s departure to Normandy, and Ella Purnell is electrifying as Winston’s beleaguered secretary,”Helen” slamming Churchill’s defeatism, negativity towards the war’s outcome.


“Success is going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.” I viewed this failure without an ounce of enthusiasm.





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