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Gary Oldman

Gary Oldman's bulldog performance as Winston Churchill lifts Joe Wright's overwrought directing in 'Darkest Hour'

Gary Oldman's bulldog performance as Winston Churchill lifts Joe Wright's overwrought directing in 'Darkest Hour'

From its grab-for-all-the-gusto Gary Oldman performance to its direction by Joe Wright, “Darkest Hour” is nothing if not an energetic, showy piece of work, but some types of showy have more staying power than others.

The lean and hungry Oldman would seem an unlikely pick to play the rotund, jowly Winston Churchill, even though he’s one of Britain’s top actors and has played all manner of historic figures from Sid Vicious to Lee Harvey Oswald.

But helped by the wizardly contribution of Oscar-nominated makeup artist Kazuhiro Tsuji, who worked for six months developing the look, Oldman's brassy presentation goes well beyond a collection of mannerisms. It gives us a sense of a...

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