Looking the part


Director: Jonathan Teplitzky
Cast: Brian Cox, Miranda Richardson, John Slattery, Julian Wadham, Richard Durden, James Purefoy, Ella Purnell, Danny Webb, Jonathan Aris, Peter Ormond, Steven Cree, Angela Costello
Rating: (PG)★★★★+

There are some roles that all serious actors aspire to; once they were Shakespearian, but in the decades since World War 2, a real character has emerged to test the skills of eminent actors.

Winston Churchill was a failed politician: erratic, mercurial, brilliant and utterly essential to winning the WW2. People started casting him in films from the moment war was declared, and now we face an avalanche of movie and television Churchills. Brian Cox (Churchill, Rialto and Metro) is the latest, but not the last.

Initially, I was disappointed because the first few lines of dialogue failed to nail Churchill's voice, but as we go deeper into the movie so does Cox into the character. While he is an uncanny Churchill lookalike, he is given invaluable assistance from the costume department.

Churchill was a man who believed in statement dressing - from his famous boiler suits to correct court dress if meeting the King. Costume designer Bartholomew Cariss has gone the extra mile to even include the silk drawers that Churchill most certainly would have worn.

While Cox is increasingly extraordinary in the part he is not acting in a vacuum. He is ably supported by Julian Wadham (as a fractious Montgomery), James Purefoy (George VI) and Miranda Richardson (Clementine Churchill).

The only qualms I have are that some of the history is too dumbed down and there really is no excuse for bad fake typing.

-By Christine Powley

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