Wednesday, August 23, 2017

The Gathering Storm

June 1, 2010 by · 5 Comments 

Product Description
Studio: Hbo Home Video Release Date: 06/11/2009 Run time: 96 minutes Rating:
A remarkable cast lends emotional richness to The Gathering Storm, an HBO movie about the life of Winston Churchill just prior to the onset of World War II. Faced with bankruptcy, his career in decline, Churchill (Albert Finney) is beset with depression until the impending danger of German rearmament–along with the British government’s reluctance to recognize the threat of Hitler–gives him a cause that brings him back to energetic life. The movie focuses as much on the enduring relationship between Churchill and his wife, Clementine (Vanessa Redgrave), as his political struggles. But though The Gathe… More >>

The Gathering Storm


5 Responses to “The Gathering Storm”
  1. With all of the material written about this remarkable man, this is the best HBO could come up with? This is the man that put Chamberlain in his place, stood up to Herr Moustache and saved England from the certain defeat of pacifism.

    And what dialogue do we have from him in this yawn? (spoiler warning)

    “Please Mrs. Pussycat, come out. Mr. Pug is lonely.”

    Rating: 1 / 5

  2. It’s about the years just before he became Prime Minister of England. It’s half love story and half about how he was trying to warn how dangerous Hitler was to England. The story about his relationship with his wife was more entertaining than the historical part due to Finney and Vanessa Redgrave as his wife. He fought depression and was bankrupt at that time. He had a huge ego when it came to his political life but deep inside felt he didn’t deserve his wife. Both in his personal and professional life he was a difficult person to deal with.

    The Gathering Storm won an Emmy for writing so maybe this movie just wasn’t my cup of tea. Still, this movie wasn’t quite a love story so I can’t recommend this to fans of romance movies. It also wasn’t centered around the events in England leading up to World War ll. So I can’t recommend it to people who enjoy movies about history.

    If you want to learn more about Churchill, read a book about him. If you want a love story, there are better ones to watch.

    Rating: 2 / 5

  3. Kosovar says:

    Well,it is an English movie so of course there is male nudity and dark humor. Albert Finney, the man (the lawyer) from Erin Brockovich movie, has given us a stunning performance in this movie. He is Winston Churchil prior to second world war and before he became a prime minister.
    You should absolutely watch this movie – and when you do – you’ll find out something you never knew about England and Nazis.
    Appearantly English Government sold Hitler 8000 planes prior to WWII unbeknownst to them that Hitler would bomb England with the very same planes!

    It is another “boring” English movie but it’s worth watching it and I highly recommend it to all. There’s so much to be learned from it!
    Rating: 5 / 5

  4. I watched this on the heels of “Churchill: The Wilderness Years” (TWY), so most of my review should be seen in that context.

    Finney is superb as is the rest of the cast, and the production is, as expected, leaps and bounds above the made-for-BBC “TWY.”

    My only gripe is with the choices made in the script. A surprising amount of time is dedicated to the tragic side story of Ralph Wigram that not nearly enough time is paid to the other historical figures and events. I wish the film had been at least 2 hours, perhaps then the full story could have been fleshed out a bit more.

    As it stands, Wintson shares the stage with Wigram in a rather brief sketch. While tragic and perhaps a compelling story, Wigram was a marginal figure at best if you read the biographies.

    Would that these actors and production could have been brought to “TWY.”

    I do appreciate the earthiness with which Churchill is presented. I found the nudity and profanity to be very much “in character” for him. I also felt this production did a better job of presenting exactly how much Winston had been marginalized during the Baldwin government, but again it is just hinted at — not enough time is given.

    Winnie is also more clearly humanized with more emotion, fear, insecurity and whimsy than in “TWY,” including his painting, so in that regard this production colourizes, as it were, the drabber portraits.

    A great addition to the Churchill opus, but in the end is more supplemental than comprehensive.
    Rating: 4 / 5

  5. It’s part of the Churchill legend that, after having served in high government posts in the first third of the 20th century, Winston was a has-been by the mid-1930s, ridiculed and avoided by fellow members of Parliament – caught in the political doldrums. THE GATHERING STORM depicts the period from 1934 to 1939. It’s no exaggeration to say that Churchill owes the resurgence of his political career to Adolph Hitler and the Third Reich.

    Albert Finney was an inspired choice in the title roll. We watch as Winston, despondent over his fall from influence, becomes the lone voice in the wilderness speaking out against the government’s policy of appeasement of Nazi Germany. This is all the more remarkable because it was Churchill’s own party, the Conservatives, which held power under Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin (Derek Jacobi), who, as pointedly put by Winston, was but an “epileptic corpse”. However, this film does not slavishly idolize. We see Churchill for what he also was: inept at money handling, domineering, occasionally incredibly selfish, and perhaps too envious of the military accomplishments of his ancestor, the 1st Duke of Marlborough. And, as comic relief, the viewer is led to believe that Winston composed and rehearsed his greatest speeches in the loo, especially while in the bathtub.

    THE GATHERING STORM is also a tribute to Clementine Churchill (Vanessa Redgrave), who scores major points for staying married to a difficult man. In one instance, after twenty-some years of selfless devotion to her marriage and family, Clementine defies her husband’s self-centeredness and goes off on a Pacific jolly to chase Komodo Dragons, a large lizard. You go, girl!

    This isn’t a riveting drama by any means, but it’s an extremely competent portrayal of the man and his times. For one already acquainted with Churchill’s career, it offers nothing new. For one who knows nothing of Churchill or that period of Britain’s history between the wars, it’s perhaps a must-see. Much of it was filmed at Churchill’s home of the time, Chartwell, now a National Trust property.

    The very best thing about Finney’s portrayal is his voice. I could close my eyes and easily imagine that it was Winston himself speaking. However, this aspect of the production also leads to its greatest failing, which is that not enough of Churchill’s great oratory was heard. As I watched the ending credits roll, I thought how they needed a voice-over of Winston’s greatest speech – the one that even now brings chills to me (a non-Brit), and which includes:

    “Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties, and so bear ourselves that if the British Empire and Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will still say, This was their finest hour.”
    Rating: 4 / 5

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