I wrote yesterday that while some have called Darkest Hour‘s London Underground scene “ridiculous,” in nonetheless works. I called it the most emotionally satisfying scene in the whole film, and the only one that made me sit up in my seat and go “this is probably bullshit from a historical perspective, but it’s connecting.”

Last night Chris Willman wrote in the comment thread that the Underground scene is “horrible…HORRIBLE. Any good will I had for the movie, and it was wavering, evaporated at that point. I don’t understand how it works or connects for anybody. No science fiction or fantasy movie has ever required such a suspension of disbelief from an audience.”

My response, tapped out this morning: “It’s a kind of fantasy sequence but it works all the same. It’s theatrically hokey and perhaps even simple-minded, but it’s (a) shrewdly timed, arriving just before Churchill’s grand climax inside Parliament, and (b) more importantly delivers what we want to hear after listening to cagey, measured expressions of political calculation for 90 or 100 minutes beforehand. It’s a pure-heart, resolve-of-the-people moment (“Never!”). It feels, yes, like a dream sequence, almost in the manner of a Rodgers & Hammerstein interlude. But emphatic emotion is what Darkest Hour needs at this third-act juncture, and as much as you may dislike the calculation, it pays off.”