Back in 2005, just in time for Oscar consideration, the film Capote was released. It featured Philip Seymour Hoffman as the troubled, effete, prima-donna, Truman Capote, struggling with his inner demons as he endeavoured to write his book 'In Cold Blood'. About nine months later, a film called Infamous was released. It featured Toby Jones as the troubled, effete, prima-donna, Truman Capote, struggling with his inner demons as he endeavoured to write his book 'In Cold Blood'.
Hoffmann won the Oscar for his performance, Jones did not.
Then, in 2012, just in time for Oscar consideration, the film Hitchcock was released. It featured Anthony Hopkins as the troubled, anxious film-director Alfred Hitchcock as he struggled to complete his film 'Psycho'. About a month before this, a film called The Girl had been released. It featured Toby Jones as the cold, controlling film director Alfred Hitchcock as he struggled to complete his film 'The Birds'.
Jones was nominated for a hatful of awards. Hopkins was not.
|So that's the real Hitch, the real Toby Jones and the real Anthony Hopkins. I wonder if it's a real crow?|
Remember Olympus Has Fallen and White House Down (both 2013)?
Or the aliens-invade-LA films Skyline and Battle: LA (the end of 2010 and the beginning of 2011 respectively)?
Or Deep Impact and Armageddon (both 1998)?
Or the disastrous movie Volcano and the even worse Dante's Peak (both 1997)?
Well, it's still happening. Last year saw the story of the assassination of Nazi officer Reinhard Heydrich dramatised in the film Anthropoid (featuring, as it happens, Toby Jones in a supporting role). This year will see the release of HHhH (based on the novel of the same name) which dramatises the assassination of Nazi officer Reinhard Heydrich.
And now, staying with World War Two, we have two biopics of Winston Churchill. And which one is Toby Jones in? Hah - neither!
Let's be honest, playing Churchill is probably the role that, outside of Sherlock Holmes and King Lear, actors of a certain age want to have a crack at. Michael Gambon gave us his Churchill last year, in TV's Churchill's Secret, as did John Lithgow in The Crown. Timothy Spall gave us his Churchill in The King's Speech in 2010. Robert Hardy virtually made a living as Churchill in the 80s and 90s. But, let's face it, we all prefer Ian McNiece's rendition in Doctor Who in 2010. That was Churchill and the Daleks, for goodness sake!
But now we have two new contenders. We have Brian Cox as the titular Churchill. That had a brief run at the cinema last month. You might still be able to find it, if you have decent cinemas in your area. Interest in it may be renewed since, just this week, we have seen the launch of the trailer for Darkest Hour, which is (based purely on the trailer) already getting rumblings about an Oscar for its Churchill - one Gary Oldman.
Let's have a look at the form, shall we ... First out of the gate was Brian Cox:
And the young pretender ... Gary Oldman:
Well, I like Brian Cox. But I also like Gary Oldman. But who's best?
There's only one way to be sure!