AUDIO - On the occasion of the release of Joe Wright's film, Wednesday, January 3, on the life of the British Prime Minister from May 40, at the time of the entry into the war of the United Kingdom, Le Figaro offers an original fiction in eight episodes based on the memories of the "Old Lion".
"A conciliator is someone who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will be the last to be eaten." Winston Churchill had, as we know, the taste of the formula. The humor of an English dandy drowned in a French bulldog body.
On screen, the "Old Lion" is often depicted in his warrior clothes. Richard Burton was the first to portray him on the screen promising blood, sweat and tears (in a 1974 American TV movie). Before Albert Finney and Timothy Spall, Mike Leigh's favorite actor, in The speech of a king. Or, even closer to us, Brian Cox, who in the film of Jonathan Teplitzky was the statesman during the two days before the D-Day.
In The dark hours, by Joe Wright, whose Figaro.fr is a partner, the excellent and too rare Gary Oldman embodies in the prime of life. He is 65 when he is appointed prime minister in place of Neville Chamberlain who, according to Chrurchill's formula for posterity, "wanted to avoid war at the price of dishonor". But he will have dishonor and war.
It is precisely this period of tipping, when the United Kingdom decides to challenge Hitler that we decided to revive you in an unprecedented audio series produced by the company Collective Creation. Dark and decisive hours for a whole country but also for Winston Churchill.
It is difficult to show the nuances of a character so intimidating by his physique, his posture, his voice, his phrasing. Of a man who had several lives in one: military, journalist, writer, historian, painter and politician. To get around these pitfalls, director Joe Wright (to whom we owe, especially Pride and Prejudice and Come back to me ) has chosen to bring him back to life with one of the most talented actors of his generation, Gary Oldman. For the historical part, he decided to treat only the first few weeks of the statesman as Prime Minister while skepticism reigns, even in his own camp.
In the prologue of our audio series of which you will find all episodes every two days until the release of the film, we are on January 30, 1965. Three days before, Sir Winston Churchill died and a whole people weeps. From all over the world, heads of state came to bid farewell to the British prime minister. The narrator is General Sir Hamstings Ismay, Churchill's cabinet director. And his big friend too.
He will return to these intense weeks between May and June 1940, when he had the chance, if not the honor, to rub shoulders with the man "the most important of his life". A story that begins on May 8 during the famous debate in the House of Commons. First speech of a statesman who will win, in 1953, thee Nobel Prize for Literature. This is where Winston ceases to be a mere grumpy politician and focused on bourbon. This is where he becomes Churchill!
AUDIO SERIES CREDITS
1940, Winston becomes Churchill, an audio fiction in partnership with Le Figaro. A Collective Creation and Binge Audio production for Universal Pictures. With the voice of Paul Bandey and Adelaide Bon. Author: Alexandre Lenot. Director, original music and mixing: Théo Boulenger. Art Director: Julien Cernobori