Awards

  • BAFTA

    Best Film (Nomination)
  • BAFTA

    Outstanding British Film (Nomination)
  • Golden Globe Award

    Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama (Gary Oldman)
  • Critics' Choice Movie Award

    Best Picture (Nomination)
  • Outstanding Supporting Visual Effects in a Photoreal Feature

    VES (Nominated)

'Everything is based on real references and footage. It was really important to Joe that we backed up all our work with historical research.'

Stephane Nazé - VFX Supervisor

A five-week recce saw the filmmakers gain access to the private worlds behind a number of high-profile locations across London: Buckingham Palace, the Houses of Parliament, and Downing Street. ‘It was not something that you get to do everyday; it was an incredible opportunity,’ says Nazé. Lidar scans were taken of all of the buildings that had to be re-built in a photo-realistic way: ‘I quickly realised that the buildings had to be recreated in CG. We could then add the correct levels of dirt that would have existed, and tweak them structurally. Joe realised that we were approaching this very differently to other period films out there, and he became really confident in our process.’

Alongside set extensions in London, the team worked on large-scale environment builds. ‘Some builds were only a few shots long, but they still had to be perfect,’ explains Nazé. Aerial shots of French battlefields and countryside were crafted, alongside recognisable locations including Calais and the cliffs of Dover. Each environment had its own separate challenges and CG asset creation process. The French battlefield sequence, for example, called for a full CG environment, CG camera, vehicles, buildings, crowd simulation, FX explosions and smoke. Extensive research was undertaken to consider not just the vehicles of the time, but the topography of the terrain and the exact timings of WW2-style explosions, which would create a shockwave just after the impact of the explosion.

Framestore had to work outside of its traditional film pipeline for Darkest Hour, briefing individual artists and working in a more collaborative, less structured environment; this in turn complemented the working environment with the client.  

'Joe is unique to work with; he has real vision. He knows exactly what he wants and he has a voice. It really felt like we were all part of something.'

Stephane Nazé - VFX Supervisor

Reviews

'Wright infuses the drama with unquestioned energy.'

The Hollywood Reporter

'The elegant film’s style brilliantly marries the classical with the cutting-edge.'

Variety

'Gripping, touching, amusing and enlightening, Oldman's performance is the prime reason this film must be seen — but not the only one.'

Empire

'In fact, that is the best way to enjoy Darkest Hour, with a slab of salt and an understanding of Wright’s irrepressible stylishness as the substance itself.'

Vulture