Even though Colombia-France Year is winding down, movie audiences will find themselves this summer spending many hours on the beaches of Normandy.
Following the release of Christopher Nolan’s harrowing masterpiece “Dunkirk” in which for two-hours we are immersed in one of the most poignant episodes of World War II, director Jonathan Teplitzky’ “Churchill” opens this month in theatres across Bogotá, and takes us forward to the final days before D-Day.
From the opening frame on the “1,736th day of World War II,” actor Brian Cox renders a brilliant interpretation of the leader, who after three years of Blitz over Britain is engaged with a war-time cabinet, Field Marshal Montgomery (played by Julian Wadham) and U.S General Dwight Eisenhower (John Slattery) in a vociferous debate on whether Operation Overlord will force the Third Reich’s retreat from occupied France.
Based on a script by historian Alex von Tunzelmann, Cox galvanizes the role of the British Prime Minister confronted with ordering a military operation that could either turn the tide against his continental adversary, or resuscitate memories of the carnage of the Gallipoli campaign, which Churchill commandeered as First Lord of the Admiralty in World War I.
Despite King George VI (James Purefoy) advising against sending thousands into harms way on those very same Normandy beaches of Dunkirk’s infamy, Clementine Churchill, interpreted by Miranda Richardson, manages to convert her husband’s emotional ebb and flow into a determined conviction of Operation Overlord.
Teplitzky is an Australian director and writer who has directed both for film and television (Marcella, Will, Broadchurch and Spirited). His 2000 film “Better Than Sex” was nominated for 14 AFI Awards. In 2013, he released The Railway Man, which was acclaimed by juries in international film festivals such as Cannes, Toronto, Telluride, London and New York.
Even though we are familiar with Winston as a wartime leader, in most of the film, we see a deteriorating man haunted by demons and suffering from depression. Cox’s performance makes us feel sympathetic towards a surprising weak, and ailing individual.
The entire cast of Churchill delivers an honest performance, and with the feature opening August 17 in Cine Colombia, audiences get an intimate look at the fateful hours that changed the course of modern history.
But Churchill isn’t out of the picture just yet. In a major cinematic release for the end of the year, Gary Oldman takes on the Prime Minister in what promises to be a major Oscar contender with Darkest Hour and directed by Joe Wright (Pride and Prejudice, Atonement ). Following in Richardson’s inspirational role, Kristin Scott Thomas stars as Clementine, and Ben Mendelsohn, as the stammering King.