JOE WRIGHT found he identified with Winston Churchill.

The 45-year-old filmmaker has helmed the new wartime movie 'The Darkest Hour' - starring Gary Oldman as the Prime Minister - but when Wright first started out making the film, he found that he had some similarities with Churchill.

In an interview with Time Out London magazine, Wright said: ''It's not like Churchill's been a hero of mine, but I was sent this screenplay and was shocked to find myself identifying with him.

''He was a man who had made a lot of mistakes, and then found himself in this position of extraordinary responsibility.

''He suffered an immense crisis of confidence, and then was able to turn that around and overcome. Also the responsibility of parenthood and marriage, and being a man. In this movie, Churchill [represents] an aspect of me. And then I put more of myself into the screenplay, those elements of self-doubt.''

'The Darkest Hour' tells the story at the beginning of World War II as within days of becoming Prime Minister, Churchill must face one of his most turbulent and defining moments of the conflict: exploring a negotiated peace treaty with Nazi Germany, which could guarantee Britain's independence and that of the Commonwealth.

As the Nazi forces roll across Western Europe and the threat of invasion of the UK, Churchill must resist attempts by his own political party and an initially sceptical King George VI, to stand firm against the dangers facing his country and not buckle to the Nazis.

The film has received critical acclaim and Oldman recently won the Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Motion Picture and has been nominated for a BAFTA in the Leading Man category.