I think I first heard of Darkest Hour when the Oscar nominations were announced. When the Oscars gave out the Academy Awards, Gary Oldman won the Oscar for Best Actor for his role of Winston Churchill in the film. Now when I think of actors who look like Winston Churchill, Gary Oldman doesn't' come to mind. This was something I had to see for myself.
The film starts shortly into the early days of World War II. Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain is pretty unpopular as his policies have made Great Britain weak against a now-standing Germany army that seems to be unstoppable. Opposition parties want to unite everyone in Parliament for the war effort, so Chamberlain steps down for a new successor. The Conservative Party elects Winston Churchill who seems to be the best candidate for unity.
However Winston Churchill is certainly not a puppet of the outsed Chamberlain. One of the old government's proudest supporters is Viscount Halifax. He serves in the War Cabinet, and he proves to be a thorn in Churchill's side. When Churchill refuses to give up in the face of certain defeat against Nazi Germany, Halifax thinks of ways to get the Prime Minister to step down. But Churchill will not be defeated so easily.
Overall I can definitely see why Gary Oldman won his only Oscar for his role in Darkest Hour. You can't even really tell it was Oldman except for the sound of his voice. And he is quite the star in the film and gives out some very memorable moments. However I thought the film was a bit imperfect as it only shows a very small part of WWII (before American involvement) and sort of drags on. It was interesting to see the internal civil war in Churchill's Conservative Party (UK) but the film could have been better handled which is probably why it ultimately lost Best Picture to The Shape of Water.