Brian Cox is superb in this biopic of the great Briton; a glimpse behind the icon and into the personality and pressures faced by one of history’s most important political figures. This gripping, tightly-scripted thriller focuses on Winston Churchill in the run-up to DDay, as he battles with the overwhelming responsibility of sending the Allied Forces to retake Nazi-occupied Europe. Exhausted and depressed, Churchill is terrified of leaving behind a legacy of carnage, and must face political opponents as well as his own demons.
Jonathan Teplitzky's fascinating film takes an oblique view of Churchill's finest hour, presenting him as plagued with self-doubt and prone to self-sabotaging attempts to derail the DDay plans, which we know (thankfully) didn't succeed. But this isn't revisionist history all the way; Churchill is still the pugnacious patriot of lore and Cox' portrayal is deftly nuanced, teasing out the lugubrious complexity behind the grizzled facade.