Cinemagoers giving standing ovations for Churchill speech in Darkest Hour

Gary Oldman’s rousing speech as Winston Churchill, in which he called for ‘fighting on the beaches’, is causing spontaneous standing ovations in cinemas.

Joe Wright’s new biopic Darkest Hour builds to a crescendo with Churchill’s famous words, as he walked the tightrope between warning of the potential of invasion by Germany, but never conceding to the notion of possible defeat.

Several have taken to Twitter with reports of the spontaneous outbursts.

Eric Fellner, co-chairman of the movie’s production company, called the news ‘quite extraordinary’.

“It has been reported back to us, not only here but in America, and across the whole of the country not just in the big metropolitan areas,” he told the Daily Telegraph.

“We’ve been hearing it a lot. It’s very surprising. It very rarely happens other than at the premiere or special screenings of the films, so it’s quite extraordinary.

“It’s completely unusual, totally unusual.

“When we decided to make the film it was two years ago. We made the film because we believed it was a fascinating piece of history that most people don’t know the detail of, that it was incredibly engaging and exciting in the way it was going to be told, and it was entertaining.

“Those were the reasons for making it.

“However, since then, the world has changed politically. We’ve had Brexit, we’ve had Trump, we’ve had all sorts of volcanic political and social eruptions and I think we’ve just hit a zeitgeist where people are fascinated by and feeling a need for leadership.

“This story goes beyond the reasons for which we made it, and now it’s playing into those themes.”

Gary Oldman’s performance as the wartime leader is now being talked up as a likely Oscar contender, after Oldman won the Golden Globe for his turn earlier this month.

Darkest Hour is out now across the UK.

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