Into the Storm (2009) (TV)
Picking up where The Gathering Storm left off, but with new personnel in front of and behind the camera, Into the Storm tells the tale of WWII as seen through the eyes of Winston Churchill and the people around him. It is a nuanced, believable and adequately sentimental portrait elevated by the brilliant Brendan Gleeson in the lead. Gleeson, sporting a bald-wig and Churchill's famous diction, doesn't take long to wipe out the difference between himself and the legendary statesman. He conveys the complex and ambiguous nature of Churchill's persona in an expert manner, and the filmmakers are keen to emphasize the utterly conservative Churchill as a necessary bridge between the old-fashioned form of government and our modern democracy. Churchill's balance between loose-tongued egotist and brilliant philosophical orator gives the film an amusing edge – particularly in segments showing Churchill as a diplomat. Some very moving scenes, including those involving Gleeson and Glen, plus the final segment at the theatre, provide a classy icing on this well-directed cake.