The Gathering Storm – Edited
The mid-1930’s finds the great politician and orator Winston Churchill out of favor and struggling to make his robust voice heard by the English people. Wrestling with his personal demons – a dark depression, the loss of his family fortune, and the temporary absence of his devoted wife Clemmie, a lonely but defiant Churchill attemps to warn the world of an impending threat froom Hitler’s Germany. But will the world listen?
In this presentation, Albert Finney becomes Winston Churchill: the sometimes tortured genius who led England during World War II. Many reviewers have given accolades to this HBO production. I will add mine in this review. The film’s focus is in the events leading up to the time when Germany marched into Poland in 1939, the genesis of WWII. The viewer is drawn in at many levels: emotionally, historically and socially. Stanley Baldwin, then Prime Minister of England wants to maintain relations with Germany, while Churchill accurately speaks in the House of Commons of the “Gathering Storm” that is about to overtake their beloved country, and all of the continent of Europe. The gathering storm being Germany, a country then in the process of rearming for war. I loved the scenes with Vanessa Redgrave [Clemmie] and her husband: one strong-willed woman loving, and sometimes defying her even more strong-willed husband. Churchill truly was a genius with many facets, and all the prisms are reflected in this wonderful story that is authentic.
I recommend this for twelve and above: perhaps at the end, you too will wish there was more, as I did!