Film: Young Winston (1972)

Young Winston at

So Young Winston is one of those grand British epics that just don’t get made any more.  It’s pretty much a political / social thing as stories of Queen and Empire get more complicated as the world gets smaller and we all know each other a bit better, but that really undermines interesting lives and history that were never simple in the first place.  We just need to find a way to tell these stories again.

The problem with Young Winston, which is a perfectly serviceable film about a fascinating figure and time, is Winston himself.  He’s played by the wonderful Simon Ward but something just feels off and I can’t figure out if it’s Ward overplaying (not likely) or the fact that Churchill himself was such a large character that even an accurate portrayal feels too broad.  The voice sounds like an impression because it’s become an impression of itself.  Again, I doubt it’s Ward because I can’t remember seeing a portrayal that didn’t feel like imitation.

Maybe some figures are so fixed in the mind that looking at them straight on doesn’t let you anywhere near them.

But damn, what a life!


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