by Michael Renouf
1917 has already won two Golden Globes for 1) Best Motion Picture – Drama, and 2) Best Director – Motion Picture and has 10 Oscar nominations (including Best Picture and Best Director) but is it worth your time and money? The answer is a resounding yes. This recognition is not only just reward for what you see on the big screen but also the behind the scenes work that went into the making of this movie, which included digging over a mile of trenches and 6 months of rehearsal time for the main actors.
Sam Mendes’ latest offering is the tale of two soldiers, Lance Corporal Blake (Dean Charles-Chapman) and Lance Corporal Schofield (George MacKay) who are given a near impossible mission. They have to reach a forward line in a few hours to stop 1600 men, including the brother of one of the soldiers walking blindly into a German ambush. Shot in one take (with invisible joins in the style of Hitchcock’s Rope) this is an entertaining movie that captures the emotional strain, the nervousness, the unexpectedness of war in style, along with the uniqueness that was the First World War. From the moment the two protagonists leave the British trenches the movies grabs hold of you like a scared child that has lost its mother and does not let go until the final credits role, even then slowly and reluctantly as if you are their new best friend as the two Tommies battle insurmountable odds to try and complete their task.
Thomas Newson provides the film with an excellent score (Will this be the year he breaks his Oscar duck after 15 nominations? Personally I think he will) that elevates the tension of the film at just the right moments and in one scene I jumped out of my seat because I was so engrossed in the young men’s mission. You may have seen many big names in the trailer such as Colin Firth, Benedict Cumberbatch, and Mark Strong and although they all have minor roles, this does not diminish from the film in any way, in fact somehow it adds to it.
This week’s star of the film? All the brave souls who fought in the Great War.
4 out of 5 stars.
1917 has already won two Golden Globes for 1) Best Motion Picture – Drama, and 2) Best Director – Motion Picture and has 10 Oscar nominations (including Best Picture and Best Director) but is it worth your time and money? The answer is a resounding yes.