Welcome to British Isles Friday! British Isles Friday is a weekly event for sharing all things British and Irish — reviews, photos, opinions, trip reports, guides, links, resources, personal stories, interviews, and research posts. Join us each Friday to link your British and Irish themed content and to see what others have to share. The link list is at the bottom of this post. Pour a cup of tea or lift a pint and join our link party!
Last week, I recapped the books and movies that I missed reviewing while I was engaged in April’s A to Z Challenge. Tina agreed with me that one of those films, Murder on the Orient Express, was unremarkable. Becky reviewed three books, a golden-age British mystery (A Wreath for Rivera by Ngaio Marsh), a children’s book about the history of children’s books (Balderdash! by Michelle Markel), and a history of the Plantagenets (The Magnificent Century by Thomas B. Costain). Gaele reviewed two books about relationships and vacations (or holidays, as the Brits call them) — You Me Everything by Catherine Isaac and My Big Greek Summer by Sue Roberts. Sim shared the trailer for the upcoming movie adaption of Neil Gaiman’s short story, How to Talk to Girls at Parties. Colette shared reflections on stories in British media. Vicki reviewed two audiobooks, both novels about journeys, one in England (The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce) and one in Ireland (The Tour: A Trip Through Ireland by Jean Grainger)
Darkest Hour won two Academy Awards — best actor for Gary Oldman’s portrayal of Winston Churchill and best hair and makeup. Both, of course, are best when they disappear entirely from the minds of the audience. After only a few minutes, we were immersed in the world of Winston Churchill at the beginning of World War II, not caring a bit about who the actors were or how they wore their hair.
All the action in the film takes plus in about a month of history. It’s the moment when the British must choose whether to fight on after the fall of France or negotiate with the Germans and hope for a future where the British are independent on their side of the English Channel while Europe is under control of the Nazis.
Darkest Hour is an excellent companion film to the other two films of 2017 (Dunkirk and Their Finest Hour) that featured Dunkirk. I mentioned at the end of my post about those two films that Rick and I were split on our opinions. I predicted, correctly, that we would both like Darkest Hour. Dunkirk was an battle movie. Their Finest Hour was a home front story. Darkest Hour is a political film.
Speaking of politics, I enjoyed the Historical Inaccuracies section of the Wikipedia article on Darkest Hour. The film shows the splits and arguments within the Conservative Party in the spring of 1940. Historians point out that Churchill’s actions weren’t possible without the support of the Labour Party. Now that I know about that, I have to admit, I’m curious about that part of the history, too.
Have you seen Darkest Hour? What did you think?