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Pop Culture Happy Hour: Gary Oldman Jowls It Up As Winston Churchill

Gary Oldman stars as Winston Churchill in the Oscar-nominated film <em>Darkest Hour</em>.
Jack English
Focus Features
Gary Oldman stars as Winston Churchill in the Oscar-nominated film Darkest Hour.

Gary Oldman is probably the frontrunner to win the best actor Oscar for his portrayal of Winston Churchill in the historical drama Darkest Hour, which is also up for best picture. This week, we dive into the film to separate its stately ... well, Oscar-ness ... from its actual virtues. Do actors get extra points for playing real people? Should they? How much does it matter if an entire film turns on an invented scene?

Aisha Harris, the host of the Slate podcast Represent, joins the panel to talk about what Gary Oldman is doing, how it differs from what other actors are doing, and how it feels to watch this film in the same year as Christopher Nolan's Dunkirk, which takes a soldiers'-eye view of some of the same events.

We also talked about what's making us happy this week. Glen is happy about a podcast he's been enjoying. Stephen is happy about a long piece of music. Aisha is happy about a film she saw at Sundance. And I am happy about a documentary about one of my favorite bands.

Find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter: me, Stephen, Glen, Aisha, the show, producer Jessica, and producer emeritus Mike.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Linda Holmes is a pop culture correspondent for NPR and the host of Pop Culture Happy Hour. She began her professional life as an attorney. In time, however, her affection for writing, popular culture, and the online universe eclipsed her legal ambitions. She shoved her law degree in the back of the closet, gave its living room space to DVD sets of The Wire, and never looked back.

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