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Stephen Dillane

'Darkest Hour' review: For Gary Oldman, Churchill role is V for Victory

'Darkest Hour' review: For Gary Oldman, Churchill role is V for Victory

An Oscar-bound performance delivered on a silver platter, “Darkest Hour” makes up for a lot of the money gigs Gary Oldman has done in recent years, slithering through one action movie after another, portraying a Eurotrash or Slavic adversary wielding a slippery combination of dialects like switchblades.

An actor needs to eat, of course. But in “Darkest Hour,” director Joe Wright’s posh dramatization of a few key weeks in the life of British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, Oldman — barely recognizable, supremely vital — isn’t just eating; he’s feasting.

Many of his peers consider Oldman to be the finest living screen actor, which may surprise moviegoers too young to...