BRITISH actor Gary Oldman is celebrating after picking up his first-ever Best Actor Oscar for his portrayal of Winston Churchill in Darkest Hour.
GARY OLDMAN STARS AS WINSTON CHURCHILL IN DIRECTOR JOE WRIGHT'S DARKEST HOUR, A FOCUS FEATURES RELEASE (BY JACK ENGLISH/FOCUS FEATURES).
Oldman’s performance as the former British Prime Minister had already seen him walk off with the top male acting accolades from the Golden Globes, Screen Actors Guild and BAFTA.
Churchill remains an enduring fascination for both film and TV productions and this latest acclaimed performance comes just months after John Lithgow also picked up major awards, including an Emmy, for playing the political heavyweight in Netflix’s The Crown.
But would Churchill approve of these depictions if he were still alive?
Back in 1954 the then prime minister was very vocal about his dislike of an official portrait by Graham Sutherland, which was painted to celebrate his 80th birthday.
RONALD SEARLE, ‘ART: THE BRITISH PUBLIC KNOWING WHAT IT LIKES...' (CONSEQUENCES OF PUTTING MR GRAHAM SUTHERLAND’S LATEST PORTRAIT ON PUBLIC EXHIBITION). ESTIMATE £4,000-6,000.
Churchill complained that the painting made him ‘look half-witted’ and his wife later destroyed the work because of the distress it caused her husband.
The furore surrounding the unveiling is captured in a Ronald Searle cartoon from the upcoming Political Cartoon Collection of Jeffery Archer sale (14 March, London), which features a number of Churchill cartoons.
SIR WINSTON CHURCHILL, LAKE EMERALD, CANADA. ESTIMATE £6,000-8,000.
Churchill’s critique of the portrait is perhaps more informed than most as he was himself a keen painter.
One of his works - Lake Emerald, Canada (Estimate £6,000–8,000) - features in the Made In Britain sale in London on 20 March and his Goldfish Pool at Chartwell painting sold for a record £1.8 million at Sotheby’s in 2014.
MAIN IMAGE: WINSTON CHURCHILL © GETTY IMAGES