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Winston Churchill is the hot ticket into the awards race right now. Following John Lithgow’s lauded turn as the Prime Minister of Great Britain in Netflix’s “The Crown,” for which he’s expected to earn an Emmy nomination, Gary Oldman is stepping into the politician’s shoes for Focus Features’ biopic “Darkest Hour,” and the role has all the makings of an Oscar contender. Historical figure? Check. Dramatic physical transformation? Check. Oldman was previously nominated for Best Actor in 2012 for “Tinker Tailor Solider Spy.”
The official synopsis reads: “Within days of becoming Prime Minister of Great Britain, Winston Churchill must face one of his most turbulent and defining trials: Exploring a negotiated peace treaty with Nazi Germany, or standing firm to fight for the ideals, liberty and freedom of a nation. As the unstoppable Nazi forces roll across Western Europe and the threat of invasion is imminent, and with an unprepared public, a skeptical King, and his own party plotting against him, Churchill must withstand his darkest hour, rally a nation, and attempt to change the course of world history.”
“Darkest Hour” is the first feature from Oscar nominee Joe Wright since his big budget flop “Pan.” He’s best known as the director of period dramas “Atonement,” “Pride and Prejudice” and “Anna Karenina.” Ben Mendelsohn co-stars as King George VI, with Kristin Scott Thomas and Lily James featured in supporting roles.
Focus Features opens “Darkest Hour” in theaters November 22. Watch the first trailer.