• Guy Jeffries

Churchill Review


Director: Jonathan Teplitzky.

Starring: Brian Cox, Miranda Richardson, John Slattery, Ella Purnell, Julian Wadham, James Purefoy, Richard Durden.

How does one tackle the story behind the man, who is highly regarded as the greatest Briton of all time. The prime minister of the United Kingdom, twice, the first time during WWII. A noble peace prize winner, first lord of the admiralty and Britain's greatest inspiration during our darkest hours.

He was a man of many words, a true leader and the epitome of courage and hope to the British people who still remains very much a symbol of those ideals. A man of privileged birth, he fought more than his fair share of bloodshed and war. Most notably the Boer War of 1899 and the Gallipoli campaign during WWI. He very much believed true leaders led their men into battle a oppose to from behind the desks of politicians.

Teplitzky, the arftful director of The Railway Man does very much the same skilful capture, creating some very beautiful scenes. The silhouetted pillars, the bloody beaches and a brilliant use of switching focus. It's very much a play, and though it's about the days leading up to that crucial D-Day and not about the D-Day itself, it's still beautifully done and a strong aura of authenticity.

To play someone like Churchill most be both an absolute honour and a challenge. Though there is a wealth of historical reference to go from. Cox gained 22 pound to play the well rounded Briton and refused to wear prosthetics. His stature, mannerisms and behaviour appeared to represent the great man brilliantly and I believe Cox has done Churchill and himself proud. It doesn't shy away from his flawed personality and personal struggles, thus bringing a humanity to Churchill some of us might not be familiar with, Though, it's not what I would call an oscar winning performance.

The supporting cast are good, but they are exactly that, just supporting, obviously with the story remaining focused on Churchill. Richardson is superb as Clementine, Churchill's ever loyal yet challenging wife. Tony Stark's Dad, Slattery does a good Eisenhower, though the likeness is a little off putting, as is Wadham's Montgomery not really being to a true likeness. I don't think the studio bothered so much with appearance and went on the strength of character instead. Durden's Field Marshall Smuts was good, as was Purefoy's King George VI.

Lorne Balfe provides an amazing score, actually a grand piece of work, a elegant yet powerful suite nonetheless. No two tracks are the same, some even being vastly different with superb compositions of keys, strings and choral that is often somber and other times enlightening. It's certainly one of my favourite scores, and not just of 2017.

There's some superb diction, and it's very much a play but with some beautiful, artistic scenes, brilliantly captured. All this melded with the strong performances and amazing score makes this an incredible piece of cinema that delivers a truly intimate portrayal of the greatest Briton in History.

Running Time: 8

The Cast: 8

Performance: 9

Direction: 9

Story: 9

Script: 9

Creativity: 8

Soundtrack: 10

Job Description: 8

The Extra Bonus Point: 0

78% 8/10

#JonathanTeplitzky #BrianCox #MirandaRichardson #JohnSlattery #EllaPurnell #JulianWadham #JamesPurefoy #DannyWebb #RichardDurden #StevenCree #LorneBalfe