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OSCAR BUZZ Oldman plays Churchill in 1940, on the cusp of the legendary maneuver at Dunkirk.

MOVIE

No. 1 Darkest Hour

Gary Oldman glowers—and shines—as Winston Churchill confronting the storm of war

DRAMA Among 20th-century giants, Winston Churchill is the equivalent of “Send In the Clowns”: It’s tough to do a version of this brilliant, pugnacious British prime minister that isn’t good. And Gary Oldman’s is excellent—a rare front-and-center performance from an actor esteemed for his meticulous understatement in movies like The Dark Knight and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. He gives us the single-minded politician whose mission is to rally a government unsure of its military will against the Nazis in 1940, but he also depicts the private man beset by depression and failure. At a key, powerful moment, Churchill sits in his bedroom paralyzed by doubt. It’s like watching a beloved grandfather clock unable to tick its pendulum left or right. The makeup isn’t always

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