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It is not in a league with its earlier Winston Churchill-World War II drama, The Gathering Storm, but HBO's Sunday night companion film, Into the Storm, has rewards of its own.

Chief among them, the performance of Janet McTeer as Churchill's wife, Clementine, and a psychologically-nuanced script from Hugh Whitemore, who also wrote the The Gathering Storm.

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The bad news: I am not that crazy about the performance of Brendan Gleeson as Churchill. I know this was a down period for the charismatic prime minister, but there is no sense of the dark depths or fiery passion Albert Finney brought to the role in the 2002 HBO look at Churchill on the eve of the war.

The drama is set right after World War II on a holiday to southern France. Churchill should be at the top of the world after leading Britain through the war. But instead, he is awaiting the results of an election  that could unseat him.

Give the film, which ppremieres at 9 tonight and runs several times during June, three stars. Beyond the work of McTeer and Whitemore, this is a splendid production to look at -- especially the primary setting in France.

If you can't get enough of Churchill and World War II, as many can't, you'll find a lot to like. But, as one of those viewers who are fascinated with the period and the players, I have to say that I was not blown away as I was by The Gathering Storm.

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