Is Gary Oldman the Best Actor front-runner for ‘The Darkest Hour’?

The UK Premiere of 'Darkest Hour' held at the Odeon Leicester Square

Here are some photos from last night’s London premiere of The Darkest Hour, the film which might finally get Gary Oldman an Oscar. Oldman stars as Winston Churchill as he’s just been elected prime minister, on the very edge of World War II breaking out and the Battle of Britain and all of that. Oldman is wearing tons of prosthetics and makeup and wiglets and such to play Churchill and given the “struggle” of having to transform, plus the historical nature of the film, many are saying that it’s Oldman’s Oscar to lose. His biggest competition might be Timothée Chalamet for Call Me by Your Name (which probably wouldn’t happen) or Daniel Day-Lewis for Phantom Thread. I wouldn’t count out DDL, honestly. DDL could win an Oscar for his final role and I wouldn’t hate it.

The UK Premiere of 'Darkest Hour' held at the Odeon Leicester Square

Here are more photos from the premiere… Lily James plays Elizabeth Layton, who was Churchill’s long-time, devoted secretary. Lily looked incredible in this Burberry gown. I always associate her with Downton Abbey, where she was a blonde, but I like her as a brunette and she looked amazing at this premiere.

The UK Premiere of 'Darkest Hour' held at the Odeon Leicester Square

'Darkest Hour' UK film premiere - Arrivals

Kristin Scott Thomas plays Clementine Churchill, Winston’s long-suffering wife. Kristin looked dazzling and warm in this Dior coat. I’m shocked that KST isn’t part of the bigger conversation for Best Supporting Actress – she didn’t even get a Globe nomination. Right now, people are talking mostly about Allison Janney for I, Tonya and Laurie Metcalf for Lady Bird. KST’s role as a “long-suffering and supportive wife to a famous and great man” in a costume drama about World War II should be a no-brainer for a slew of nominations. Plus, she’s British and British actors are always heavily rewarded. Hm…

'Darkest Hour' film premiere at Odeon Leicester Square - Arrivals

The UK Premiere of 'Darkest Hour' held at the Odeon Leicester Square

Photos courtesy of WENN.

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23 Responses to “Is Gary Oldman the Best Actor front-runner for ‘The Darkest Hour’?”

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  1. mia girl says:

    Obviously I haven’t seen the film, and I have no doubt he delivers a great performance, but can I say, I am kinda bored of the biopic as proxy to awards. Yawn…

    And sure, he’s an amazing actor who should have won an Oscar, but I also feel he’s a problematic guy with sketchy stuff in his background and would prefer that Hollywood stop giving a*sholes awards.

    • Valiantly Varnished says:

      SAME. It’s kind of gotten to the point of just flat out caricature and mimicry as a form of acting. It’s boring.

  2. Bridget says:

    Amidst all this “I can’t believe Gary Oldman doesn’t have an Oscar” talk, I feel like people are overlooking how creepy his makeup really looks. His face looks so packed with makeup it looks like a mask. Those previews are such a turnoff.

  3. Valiantly Varnished says:

    I have no intention of seeing this film. Winston Churchill wasnt a racist pig who allowed millions of Indians to die due to starvation. The continued whitewashing of his history makes me sick. As for Oldman – I used to be a fan. Now not so much. He’s said some pretty s*itty things and I would not be at all surprised if something dropped about him. On another topic: Lily James’ body is BANGING in that dress! She looks amazing.

  4. third ginger says:

    The Oscar race, one of my favorite topics. My guess is that he is not as clear a frontrunner as he once was. He has not won any major critics awards. Those have been all over the place with DDL, Chalamet, Daniel Kaluuya, Hanks. Oldman is certain to get a SAG nomination tomorrow, and those nominated with him are likely his competition. Kaiser, the makeup and prosthetics you mentioned are actually a reason some critics think Oldman may not win. I am also waiting to see if his past actions catch up with him in any way.

  5. milla says:

    Oldman is one of the best actors of all time. The fact matthew mcnoshirt and jared leto have oscars and he doesn’t makes zero sense… but he is british so its just another proof that oscars are for white americans.

    • Bridget says:

      You’re right. The Academy NEVER honors white Brits like Oldman.

      • third ginger says:

        I actually looked at the list, and it’s astonishing how many white Brits have won. The Academy has had a very long love affair with these performers, all the way back to Colman and Olivier.

      • Bridget says:

        I mean, Eddie Redmayne seems like a nice enough fellow, but really?

      • milla says:

        Never said never. I do not belive in awards, especially after this year.

        But Americans are prioroty. White ones but still. Sorry for typos i cannot type on this phone… and no one can say with straight facd that leto, pitt or afflecks are better than oldman.

      • third ginger says:

        Brad Pitt has never won an acting Oscar. And no, the others you mention are not better than Oldman, and he has a good chance of winning.

      • Bridget says:

        ” just another proof that oscars are for white americans” is exactly what you said.

        What work of Oldman’s do you feel that he should have been honored for? Air Force One? On the list of people who have been egregiously overlooked, he wouldn’t even make my Top 5. Brits are absolutely not marginalized when it comes to the Academy Awards, and you’re not coming up with more than “it’s unfair that Ben Affleck has one and Oldman doesn’t”.

      • milla says:

        Bridget sorry again for typos.

        Here: Leon
        Immortaly Beloved
        Ssid and Nancy
        State of Grace
        And tinker tailor

        Pretty sure there are more.

      • Bridget says:

        You’re going with Hannibal?

        This is all subjective, and while there’s always room for argument, it’s also important to realize that “I really like this actor” isn’t the same as “he hasn’t won so the whole system is broken”. This is one of those.

      • Milla says:

        Trust me i am not going with that. Art is subjective and i generally don’t believe in awards pushed by billion dollars companies.

        If Oldman doesn’t gave the Oscar, I’m fine and I’m sure the world will still be awful place, where women are worth less, royals do nothing and get millions, poverty is on the rise, leaders of the free world are just aholes, neonazis get more and more popularity and rasicm is in full force. Oh and I will still be annoyed by Kardashians and scared of 45.

  6. Jussie says:

    I think he might lose his lead soon. Darkest Hour is good, but not great. Meanwhile Call Me By Your Name and Phantom Thread are stunning pieces of art.

    Oldman’s film has no momentum, so it’s all on him. Timothee, DDL, hell even James Franco will be going in with great performances in really hyped and adored films. Oldman is going in with a great performance (not his best) in a fairly forgettable film, so his campaign will really matter, and that’s not exactly where his strengths lie.

    There’s also the issue of Tom Hanks and Denzel Washington. Their performances aren’t good enough to win, but they’ll definitely siphon a fair amount of votes if nominated, most likely from voters who don’t want to vote for Oldman. DDL could easily win that way.

    • third ginger says:

      Very good analysis.

    • Annetommy says:

      Oh Christ not him again please. I have never thought that Oldman was that good an actor, that Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy Le Carre thing bored me rigid. I hope his history of domestic violence and anti-semitism gets the publicity that it deserves. Perhaps a snub from Brie Larsson might help. KST is a goddess btw.

    • Mina says:

      If the Academy only voted for pure artistic reasons, you might be right. However, if you look at their MO, Timothee has little chance to win (he’ll likely be nominated). The Academy almost never gives the Oscar in the Best Actor race to actors under 40 years old (Adrien Brody, Jean Dujardin and Eddie Redmayne are the only exceptions in this century, and of them only Brody was under 30, the youngest actor to ever win in that category). The Academy loves you reward young actresses in their 20s, but in the Actor race they usually go for someone who’s overdue his prize.

      I think Gary Oldman is still the frontrunner, his one downside is that The Darkest Hour is not so well regarded as a movie (but that doesn’t always matter in the acting categories). He’s done consistent good work for many, many years and is very respected by his peers, it’s really strange he’s only been nominated once. Now we’ll see how his personality fits in, he has his history of controversies but seems very quiet in the past years and there’s so many people in Hollywood to attack at the moment that if he doesn’t mess up, he shouldn’t be too targeted.

  7. Grant says:

    KST is everything. Love, love, love her. She’s so regal and glamorous, and only gets moreso as she ages.

    Lily James looks exquisite, that dress reminds me of the Dolce & Gabbana gown that Julia Roberts wore when she won her Oscar.

  8. PIa says:

    I liked John Lithgow’s Churchill!

    I shrieked when he re-appeared in S2 of the Crown.

  9. Mina says:

    Lately the Academy loves the “it’s about time Oscars”, so I think he’s a front runner, or at least tied with someone in the front runner position. However, so much depends on the actual campaign, that we’ll have to see.