Churchill is a 2017 British historical war drama film directed by Jonathan Teplitzky about the life of Winston Churchill in the days leading up to D-Day. The film stars Scottish actor Brian Cox in the title role, with Miranda Richardson and John Slattery in supporting roles.
As allies forces gather on the South coast of England, poised to invade Nazi-occupied Europe, Churchill is consumed by self-doubt about the success or failure of the operation. Only the unflinching support of his brilliant, unflappable wife, Clementine, can halt the Prime Minister's physical and mental collapse and help lead him to greatness.
This superbly acted film, with an excellent ensemble cast, received wide acclaim from critics and cinemagoers alike, and is considered by many to be the best British film of 2017.
Development and Production
On 4th November 2015, it was reported that Scottish actor Brian Cox would star as Winston Churchill in a new film about the days leading up to the Normandy Landings.
On 12th February 2016 it was reported that Jonathan Teplitzky would direct the film, from a script by Alex von Tunzelmann.. Miranda Richardson and Stanley Tucci would also join the cast as Clementine Churchill and Dwight D. Eisenhower, respectively. On 28th April 2016, John Slattery replaced Tucci.
On 24th May 2016 it was announced that principal photography had begun. Many scenes were shot in Edinburgh and Glasgow; Arniston House was used as film location for a number of the scenes between General Eisenhower and Churchill, specifically the Oak Room, as General Eisenhower's war room, and the North exterior.
Churchill received widespead acclaim from critics.
Robbie Collin of The Daily Telegraph rated the film 4/5 stars and said that "Brian Cox dazzles in a scalpel-sharp, timely lesson in political leadership". Peter Bradshaw, writing for The Guardian, noted that "Miranda Richardson shrewdly plays Churchill’s wife Clemmie: imperious, exasperated, gimlet-eyed", and rated the film 3/5 stars.
The Independent rated the film highly and wrote "There are elements of both King Lear and of Colonel Blimp about Cox’s Churchill. Like Blimp, he’s a man out of time, accused of trying to fight a modern war with a mindset stuck years in the past. Like Lear, he is an old man, raging against the elements."
In Time Out magazine, Tom Huddleston also rated the film highly, and wrote "Cox is rudely magnificent, capturing not just the wilfulness of the man but the nagging self-doubt at his inner core." Peter Travers writing for Rolling Stone said Brian Cox's performance "cannot be faulted. It's a master class in acting", and gave the film 3/4 stars.
Gary Goldstein of the Los Angeles Times wrote, "Brian Cox's towering performance in Churchill is worthy of the great man himself”. In the Radio Times, Alan Jones said Cox "gives a tremendous performance as the charismatic politician who inspired Great Britain to resist Adolf Hitler."
Cox as Winston Churchill
Miranda Richardson as Clementine Churchill
John Slattery as Dwight D. Eisenhower
James Purefoy as King George VI
Julian Wadham as Bernard Montgomery
Danny Webb as Alan Brooke
Jonathan Aris as Trafford Leigh-Mallory
George Anton as Bertram Ramsay
Steven Cree as James Stagg
Angela Costello as Kay Summersby
Richard Durden as Jan Smuts
Ella Purnell as Helen Garrett (Churchill's secretary)