Friday, January 10, 2020


Another award season, another war film. If you ever wanted to see what would happen if "Birdman" and "Dunkirk" had a baby then say hello to "1917." It's a fantastic piece of cinema that follows two World War I soldiers as they're tasked with manually delivering a note to another battalion to call off the next morning's attack. If they don't get there in time thousands of soldiers will die, including of the solider's brothers. A really simple setup for sure - we don't really get to learn anything about WWI; that's not the point - but Sam Mendes' film is an orgy of painstaking choreography behind and in front of the camera. The film is presented as if the whole thing was shot in one continuous take. Suspense abounds as the film presents time as the enemy which makes the experience, at times, practically panic attack inducing. By having the film play out in real time it makes the situation all the more dire and is really impressively staged by cinematic wonder DP Roger Deakins and features fantastic production design, another winning Thomas Newman score, and charismatic performances from the two leads George MacKay and Dean-Charles Chapman. The film really is a technical wonder and more than just a cinematic trickery. These types of movies coming out of Hollywood studios are few an far between and is this one is certainly a sight to behold. GRADE: A