Gary Oldman to play Winston Churchill in "Darkest Hour"

In Joe Wright’s World War II drama “Darkest Hour,” which unspooled at the Telluride Film Festival Friday, Oldman’s showcase might be his finest hour. He digs into the towering role with uncanny resolve, fearless under gobs of makeup, fully crafting not simply an impression of a man but the fiery soul of a character.

But this is Oldman’s show. He simply owns the movie.

The best actor Oscar race hasn’t caught fire at all yet this season. (Lead actress, conversely, is set to ignite at this very festival.) So consider Oldman the unequivocal frontrunner at the moment. He’s likely to remain that way, too, what with multiple Oscar-winning contenders like Daniel Day-Lewis, Tom Hanks and Denzel Washington not exactly starving for more Academy recognition. There will be others in the mix, certainly. But none is likely to match the bravado of what’s on display here

There is no other way to watch Oldman than in near disbelief that anyone could bring Churchill back to life this convincingly. It will be difficult for any other actor to top Oldman this year.

But there is no doubt that Darkest Hour belongs to its lead. Oldman has every mannerism and inflection nailed down completely, yet he never loses focus on why we need yet another film about Churchill.

It’s interesting that both Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk and Wright’s Darkest Hour swirl around a parallel chain of events. One could cut Dunkirk into the middle of Darkest Hour to frame the story of how 300,000 soldiers became stranded on those beaches.
This looks amazing. You can hardly tell it's Oldman at all.
If this film doesn't win Best Makeup, I will rain my vengeance upon the Academy.
New trailer is out tomorrow as well.

So the general vibe I've gotten out of Telluride and TIFF is that the film itself is okay, but Oldman's performance is a career-best. He's gunning for that Oscar. :awesome:

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That scene of the kids wearing Hitler masks is going to give me nightmares.
Has anyone noticed the mass/troll "down-rating" on Imdb from time to time? It has happened quite a few times since the rating is available for the movie. After the first few "attacks" the rating was slowly going up and reached 6.2, and then it was again rated down an overnight with like 300 2/10 votes and now it's dropped to 5.8
Timothee Chalamet's fans and the so-called "CMBYN Mafia" are hard-pressed to make him look like the frontrunner. There's an almost cult-like following there, and Oldman is really the only threat standing in Chalamet's way.

Look, if Chalamet ends up winning SAG then I'll happily concede that he is the likely Oscar winner. But right now,he isn't doing anything that people weren't already expecting him to do. He's picking up critic awards. Nice to have (especially for an actor his age), but that doesn't always translate to success with the televised industry awards. The Academy has shown a willingness to go younger with Best Actress winners. With Best Actor, not so much. He's a very young actor with an understated role in a small critically-acclaimed film. Gary Oldman is an overdue veteran with a baity role and career-high marks in a film tailor-fit for the older Academy voters. It's obvious which is the safer bet right now.
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They are a malicious horde of stans.... but is it possible that 300 something fans of his rated it down at the same time? Or it has to do more with some "Churchill politics", so to speak... troll votes from India perhaps

Indeed, it was expected that Chalamet would be the critics favorite, it will be the SAG that narrows down the race to the likely Oscar winner. Not even Golden Globes, knowing Oldman's "relationship" with HFPA. That one is in Chalamet's bag for sure.
It's true about young actresses are more likely to be recognized, but maybe there is indeed a shift and they will go full cool and edgy with making history with the youngest best actor winner.
I frequent AwardsWatch and the CMBYN fans are not being very objective about this. I'm perfectly capable of wanting Oldman to win while still recognizing the great work done by Chalamet. They seem incapable of wanting Chalamet to win without tearing down the competition (Oldman in particular).

On-paper, Oldman hits almost all of the marks. An overdue veteran with career-high marks, playing one of the most beloved politicians in history in a film that is tailor-made for the older, base Academy voters. He's been previously nominated. The film itself is receiving positive reviews (maybe not glowing, but positive). He has the narrative down pat.

Chalamet gives an understated, quiet performance in a small critic darling. He's 21-years-old (he'd be the youngest winner in this category by a long shot). He has not been previous nominated. People like to point to Casey Affleck winning an Oscar last year for an understated, quiet performance, but he had Hollywood royalty like his brother and Matt Damon backing him. It's simply not comparable. And while the Academy has shown that they have no problem going younger with Best Actress, they almost avoid it like the plague with Actor. Given the Academy's history, Chalamet getting a nomination alone would be the victory.

Again, Chalamet isn't doing anything that people didn't already expect him to do. CMBYN is one of the most critically acclaimed films of the year, so it stands to reason that he'd do very well with the critic groups. But as we have seen time and time again, there is often a disconnect between the critics and the industry. Let's see how Chalamet performs during the televised awards. I fully expect he'll take the Drama Globe. If he takes SAG too, then I'd bet on him taking the Oscar. For now, though, Oldman seems the clear choice. The narrative is simply too strong, he has the marks, and the film has the reviews (for now).
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Oldman's situation is indeed paper form and hopefully it all will work in his favour. The best actor and actress categories are not comparable, this double standard is very apparent. And probably the "young blood" of new members is still not enough for a complete shift.
Critics groups and the academy's choices rarely align if one checks the previous years of winners. Critics can build buzz and make it seem they navigate the awards season, but at the end it always seems to be clear the academy has a slightly different opinion. Chalamet's nomination, which now feels a lock, should be the victory itself.
Still, it can go either way, and it definitely will be a more interesting race than it seemed to be. And one should also take in consideration the current atmosphere in Hollywood and how it will effect the whole season.
Even with the 700 new members added over the last couple of years, there are still 6,000 pre-existing members to account for.

Screen Actors Guild Awards are on January 21st. We should know our Best Actor winner then.

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