Top critical review
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All the elements are strong, but somehow it fails to be as magnificent as the first film.
on 3 July 2010
An outstanding costume drama, and a sequel to The Gathering Storm. The lead actors do a sterling job, but it must have been very difficult to follow Albert Finney and Vanessa Redgrave in the same roles. The special effects sometimes shine (Churchill on the roof during the Blitz), but are sometimes painful (the digital back-projection used in the famous balcony of Buckingham Palace scene). For some reason (copyright?) the original voices of the newsreel announcers are not used, yet the footage is. The costuming, lighting and sound design are all excellent. The script is by the same author as The Gathering Storm. He solves the difficult problem of not wanting to end on the downbeat disaster of a socialist election victory at home after the end of the war in Europe - but he does so by mixing up the timeline so that viewers hop rapidly back and forwards in time. Personally I think I might have preferred a simple linear story.