Churchill review: Brian Cox gives stunning performance

John Slattery and Brian Cox in Churchill.
John Slattery and Brian Cox in Churchill.

DESPITE more than 200 credits to his name and appearances in blockbusters such as X-Men 2, RED and a recurring role in the Jason Bourne series, Brian Cox is one of those actors who you recognise but can’t put your finger on where from.

His commanding performance in Churchill as the titular former British prime minister could finally change that.

With Hitler and his Nazi army controlling France during World War II, the allied countries have come together to form a plan of attack, under the leadership of American general Dwight Eisenhower (John Slattery).

Just days before D-Day, UK PM Winston Churchill expresses reluctance on the agreed tactic, haunted by his experiences and the high number of casualties of World War I.

His unwavering resistance begins to add strain to his relationship with his wife Clementine (Miranda Richardson) and those around him.

Is he out of touch or is this the desperate attempt of a man trying to regain his power and respect in a landmark situation?

This beautifully captured, suspenseful story with a fascinating conflict at its core is a treat.

Time is ticking, hundreds of thousands of lives are at stake and Churchill is desperate to save as many people in this war as possible, but there is some arresting imagery that brings this story together.

Additionally, Cox turns in a stunning performance, his powerhouse dialogue delivery demonstrating Churchill’s passion and despair.

While the script is often sharp and concise, writer Alex von Tunzelmann falls into the pitfall of having Churchill’s monologues feel repetitive.

He repeats his case on several occasions, with little variance.


Churchill (M)

Directed by: Jonathan Teplitzky

Starring: Brian Cox, Miranda Richardson, John Slattery

Four stars

Review by Julian Wright

In cinemas June 8


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