Churchill

Brian Cox captures this depressive and aggrieved ruler in the most sensitive of ways

Churchill tracks a time in Winston Churchill’s (Brian Cox) life where he wasn’t at his strongest or most influential. It looks at his vulnerable and compassionate side as he tries to put his ideas for the war across to the army leaders involved with the allied forces. As D-Day approaches, Churchill becomes increasingly irritated by the lack of time his thoughts are given.

Naturally, the key to getting a biopic like Churchill right is actor chosen to lead the film, and Brian Cox puts in a monstrously passionate performance as the former prime minister. It’s almost Shakespearean in the way he commands the screen with his deep and puncturing performance. It’s truly fascinating to watch a man, often regarded as the greatest Briton of all time, struggle in the way he does. Brian Cox captures this depressive and aggrieved ruler in the most sensitive of ways.

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In fact, the film manages to portray resilience in an intensely powerful way. A big part of this is due to the astute and almost omniscient performance from Miranda Richardson. She doesn’t feature overly often, but her appearance is not only vital, but it unlocks another section to understand Churchill even more deeply.

If anything, Churchill cannot keep up with Richardson and Cox who absolutely steal the show. This is a film about one man, but it’s more importantly about how this man carried ongoing, pushing himself and his country further. There is no doubt in Churchill’s patriotic mindset but his willingness is tested and the film manages to shine a light on how he recovered. The film may not be the best, but it’s a great stage for Cox to show how much he understands Winston Churchill.

Without Cox, this would not be a film. His performance is outstanding, and not only does he make the film watchable he elevates it to a thrilling watch. He helps us to understand a brilliant man, and shows exactly how even the strongest of us struggle hugely with inner demons.

4/5

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