Reading Clementine Churchill by Sonia Purnell a couple of years ago sparked an interest in seeing the new movie called Darkest Hour. Purnell gave a well-researched and intimate look at this loving couple though it focused on Clementine’s role in her famous husband’s life. It further proved that there is usually a woman behind every great man. The book offered details of their daily lives so when I viewed the movie, I quietly agreed that Kristin Scott Thomas captured Clemmie’s essence.
But more importantly, this movie showed the inner tickings of Winston Churchill (Gary Oldman) as he wrestled with his new responsibility as Prime Ministet at the height of the German invasions under Hitler. Churchill’s war cabinet wanted to negotiate with Germany in the face of terror, fear and the loss of many young soldiers.
Most of the movie pinpoints a few days in the month of May when he painstakingly weighed his options. Will he lead the country into eternal servitude to a greater power? Will he buckle under the pressure because few believe in him or his rationale?
Clemmie soothes and reassures him and tells him that he has what it takes. King George VI (Ben Mendelsohn) finally lets Churchill know that he has his full support though other key members of Parliament doubt his judgment. And then, he decides to ask the people. There is a memorable scene of Churchill getting on the subway and actually talking with the everyday working people. Though shocked to see him, he opens up a conversation and they all vow that they should never surrender.
He writes a speech with the help of his dutiful typist Elizabeth Layton (Lily James) and the movie ends with him giving a major speech. The rest, they say, is history.
I am reminded of one of my favorite quotes by Winston Churchill. “If you are going through hell, keep going.” He kept going and I think that Gary Oldman could possibly be taking home a little gold statue called Oscar!
Lynn M. January 27, 2018
2018 has jolted us to life! So much seems to be happening on so many different levels. We do not have time to close our mouths over one shocker before something else comes along that jars us even further awake.
It is comparable to that spank that doctors once gave the newborn child to hear the first cry. Nowadays, they massage the baby’s bottom to make sure that the child is awake and has indeed crossed over into the land of the living.
I recently read a novel called Ghana Must Go and it spoke on the African belief about the birth of twins. Author Taiye Selasi said that the first one comes in this new world, looks around and then lets the other one know if it is worth the journey.
I could not believe it when I read it because I had already written about the birth of twins in my last novella called Gardens of Green. Similarly, a set of twins is born and one makes it but the other does not survive. I was spiritually attuned and did not know it at the time. This world would have been too much for the weaker twin, so he opted out.
But we are already here in the midst of this jolting January so we have to lean in as these many things roll across the screens of our television sets. We cannot afford to take our eyes off of the ball. We should cleave to hope in an effort to keep it alive and paddle on through. Hopefully, things will ease up and settle down as we propel ourselves forward!
Lynn M. January 20, 2018
“Justice rides a slow horse but it always overtakes.” This was one of my mother’s favorite quotes and it is perfect during this MLK, Jr. weekend.
What is justice? Who gets it? Justice comes for those who can wait it out and see things through. Winston Churchill reminds us, “If you are going through hell, keep on going.”
So as we wait for the tide to change, here are a host of reminders and affirmations that we can read or write to help us stay filled with expectancy.
- Hang in there!
- Hold on!
- Grab ahold and don’t let go!
- Don’t give up!
- Don’t give in!
- Hang tight!
- Change is coming!
- Only believe!
- Keep the faith!
- Be encouraged!
- Cling to hope!
- Justice prevails!
We can use some of these as we swim through our challenges and struggle to remain buoyant and stay afloat until we reach sturdier and safer shores. When we feel weary or disconcerted, we can remember those who marched, cried and toiled before our time. They too questioned whether things would ever change.
As we enjoy this longer weekend and pay homage to the life of Dr. King, we can feel quite certain that justice will be served. Though the horse may travel slowly in our lives, if we prevail, we will see him overtaking all of the mishaps. He will then appear in all of his glory saddled with that good news!
Lynn M. January 13, 2018
When I entered the theatre to see the premiere showing of The Post, it was almost filled to capacity. I had to sit closer to the screen than I like, but I knew that I was in for a real treat. With Steven Spielberg at the helm and Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks as the lead actors, I knew that this was an unbeatable combination; yet I was unsure of the exact story line.
This movie takes place in 1971, at the height of the Vietnam War. Katharine Graham (Meryl Streep) has to decide whether to publish parts of the Pentagon Papers which revealed classified information about past presidential involvement. Ben Bradlee (Tom Hanks) is the executive editor and they have to see if they want to face a possible legal battle with the courts. Their competitor, The New York Times, has already faced a court injunction for a similar story and The Post has to carefully weigh its options.
Katharine Graham has been left in charge of the paper after her husband’s demise and many on the Board are afraid that they could possibly face jail time. So much is at stake for all of the staff workers along with their families and The Post’s investors. What will she decide to do?
The actual production of the news story has started. Writers have written copies on antiquated typewriters; copy editors have edited the text for errors; blueprints have been drawn and the intricate task of setting type by the lithographers has taken place.
But then, Mrs. Graham gets a knock on the door after they discover that one of their sources may have also colluded with The New York Times. Many are sorely afraid of the consequences and they try to change her mind and halt the publication of the story. Yet, with a short span of hesitation, she reminds them that she is the boss and says it is a go.
The huge newspaper presses are fired up and they roll. A few key players grab a savored copy while it is hot off of the press with the smell of fresh ink. Everybody involved had to work to the beat of a ticking clock to meet that deadline.
Then workers are seen bundling the papers, tying them in stacks and loading them onto trucks which will put them into newspaper boxes. Young paperboys will be getting up in the wee hours of the morning to pitch those copies onto the lawns of subscribers.
The Washington Post shared what they had discovered, won in the courts and went on to become a respected and well-known paper that still exists today. It was a nostalgic look at a marked time in our history that led to even greater ground-breaking reporting! This is a must-see movie for the baby boomers and those coming behind who want to witness journalism at its best!
Lynn M. January 6, 2018