So how is Gary Oldman‘s performance as Winston Churchill in Joe Wright‘s Darkest Hour (Focus Features, 11.24)? Or, more precisely, how good or commanding does his Churchill seem in the Darkest Hour trailer that was shown today during a Focus Features presentation inside Caesar’s Palace? Oldman is very, very good. It’s not Churchill himself come back to life (the voice doesn’t quite have that trademark snap, that Winnie-tude), but a genetic splicing of Oldman, Churchill and Wright. It’s somewhere between 85% and 90% of what I’d hoped to see and hear, and considering the expectations that’s pretty damn good. Obviously a locked-in Best Actor thing. Due respect to Brian Cox and Johathan Teplitzky‘s Churchill (which will open in early June), but Oldman’s Winnie is more commanding. Ditto John Lithgow‘s Churchill in The Crown.

Gary Oldman as Winston Churchill in Joe Wright’s Finest Hour (Focus Featuyres, 11.24).