Ultimately, as Darkest Hour depicts in gripping detail, Churchill determines to fight on. He squashes the attempt to reason with Hitler, wins the support of Parliament, and tells the British people that they will “defend to the death their native soil” from encroaching tyranny. This, he believes, might inspire the rest of the world to continue the fight after them.

Churchill in Darkest Hour is a volatile person, hushed and brooding one moment and manic the next. What saves his leadership is the fact that he understands the weight of his decisions.

As a blueprint for leadership in crisis, and how self-doubt must be the lynchpin of effective decision-making, Darkest Hour is a timely triumph. The US president placed a bust of Churchill in the White House when he took office. If he sees the film, he may see something of himself to relate to, and perhaps even learn from.

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