DVD release April 25: War drama ( M) New Plymouth’s Anthony Mccarten, famous for the Stephen Hawking biopic The Theory of Everything, wrote this nail-biting account of political brinkmanship in the first weeks of Winston Churchill’s premiership during World War II. Even though we know Churchill wins his political battle to take on Hitler in earnest, it’s worth being reminded that appeasement was in the air even as German Panzers ground through French countryside; Britain’s entry into the war, let alone victory, was not as inevitable as it seems today. In 1940, England faced an appalling threat. The film captures an authentic atmosphere of doom, while not always sticking strictly to the facts. Nonethless, in Gary Oldman’s Oscarwinning performance, Churchill is reborn, brooding and chomping on his cigar as he battles the mandarins of his own party to launch a wider war. Compelling.