Codenamed Operation Neptune, the Normandy landings of World War II have gone on to inspire storytellers in the vein of Steven Spielberg (Saving Private Ryan) and Darryl F. Zanuck, who was part of the creative team behind wartime epic The Longest Day.
It’s not hard to locate a film built around the infamous D-day landings, then, but it becomes more difficult to find a character-driven drama that sheds light on the politics behind the Allied invasion of Nazi-occupied France. Enter Churchill, Jonathan Teplitzky’s (The Railway Man) star-studded biopic that places the great Brian Cox in the shoes of the tenacious British Bulldog. Shackled with depression and a startling loss of confidence, by June 1944, Winston Churchill is “a shadow of the hero” he once was, and all of this feeds his reservations about shipping over a million soldiers to the European theater of war.
Wrestling Europe from the ironclad grip of the Nazi war machine became paramount, though, and the rest is history. Here’s the synopsis for Teplitzky’s period piece, while you’ll be able to catch a glimpse of Cox in costume as Churchill up above – cigar and all.
June 1944. Allied Forces stand on the brink: a million soldiers are secretly assembled on the south coast of Britain, poised to invade Nazi-occupied Europe. One man stands in their way: Winston Churchill. Fearful of repeating, on his disastrous command, the mass slaughter of 1915, when over 500,000 soldiers were killed on the beaches of Gallipoli. Exhausted by years of war and plagued by depression, Churchill is a shadow of the hero who has resisted Hitler’s Blitzkrieg. Should the D-Day landings fail, he is terrified he’ll be remembered as the architect of carnage. Only the unflinching support of Churchill’s brilliant, unflappable wife Clementine can halt the Prime Minister’s physical and mental collapse.
Also starring Miranda Richardson as Winston’s wife Clementine, John Slattery, James Purefoy, Julian Wadham, Richard Durden and Ella Purnell, Churchill storms off the beaches and into theaters on June 2nd and June 16th across North America and the UK, respectively.