Brian Cox as Churchill
History tells us Winston Churchill was a man that demands respect and he as the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom wanted his voice to be heard. In director Jonathan Tepitzky’s “Churchill”, you can understand why. Set 96 hours before the D-Day Normandy landings, we find Churchill not wanting to make the same mistakes of war he saw first hand in World War 1. Brian Cox plays the titular role and you see him square off against the Americans because General Eisenhower (John Slattery) believes his own plan is fail proof. A headstrong Churchill is adamant that it will be mass slaughter to which he doesn’t want to see on his watch.
Meanwhile Churchill’s wife Clementine Churchill played superbly well by Miranda Richardson acts as mirror to the questions Churchill asks and doesn’t want to ask about himself. Churchill isn’t going to take criticism from the Americans but who will he listen to? Only Clemmie can throw stones at him to make him reason himself.
Seeing Churchill as a bully in the film and not the man of fine speech shows us that he would go to great lengths to remove potential carnage of catastrophic proportions.
Eisenhower wants to move forward and quickly but Churchill is at odds with him at every step.
Brian Cox plays the character knowing that the man had imperfections. Churchill is a figure that wanted history to remember him for his greatness. Here he is shown wanting greatness but at the cost of stepping on toes to receive it. He is shown as a bully not only to the Americans but even to those who are supporting him for his cause. Brian Cox’s performance as Churchill makes me understand just what one is willing to do to get what they want and at what price.
Alex von Tunzelmann’s script does not follow a standard biopic where the hero conquers all and wins the pot of gold. It follows a flawed hero who needs to reflect on himself before he takes steps of action.
Churchill was a liberal politician and a conservative Prime Minister, in these times there are already other films in production about his life. It begs to ask the question what can politicians of the 21st century learn from Churchill’s life.
Brian Cox as Winston Churchill
Miranda Richardson as Clementine Churchill
John Slattery as General Eisenhower