Oscar-winning Director Sam Mendes reteams with his fellow Oscar-winning Cinematographer Roger Deakins to give us one of the finest film of 2019. Here is my review of 1917.
1917’s first inspiration was “The Autobiography of Alfred H. Mendes 1897-1991”. The film marks a return to the trenches for Mendes and Deakins as they tackled war in 2005’s Jarhead, but Sam’s family legacy gives this film true depth. Not just an homage to his grandfather’s life but also a reflection on the struggles of war throughout our history. We follow two young soldiers on a mission that deserves the moniker of being impossible. Mendes and Deakins pushed themselves to even loftier heights by telling the story in a unique way. 1917 is shot in such away that it seems to have only two seamless takes of real-time action. The way we witness these two journeys through these 2 harrowing takes is simply put, Oscar worthy.
Our two heroes are Lance Corporals Blake and Schofield played by Dean-Charles Chapman & George MacKay respectively. These two gents are giving a lot more emotional connecting moments than you’d expect in a film shot the way it is shot. MacKay’s stoic nature is the perfect counter to Chapman’s youthful innocent portrayal. The fellas area full fleshed out characters with arches that impact you in significant ways. Sprinkled throughout the two young men’s quest are sparkling performances from some familiar figures. Colin Firth, Mark Strong, Andrew Scott, Benedict Cumberbatch and Richard Madden all play pivotal characters in the film and their impact on the journey is staggering.
Does the movie accomplish the tough task of being memorable? Without doubt!!
1917 is one of the finest films of this year and one of the great films about war ever made.
Directed by: Sam Mendes
Written by: Sam Mendes, Krysty Wilson-Cairns
Selig Rating A+
Running Time: 1hr 59min
Drama / War
Wide Release: January 10th
Starring: Benedict Cumberbatch, Dean-Charles Chapman, George MacKay, Colin Firth, Mark Strong, Richard Madden & Andrew Scott
The Selig Rating Scale:
A – Excellent movie, well worth the price.
B – Good movie
C – OK movie
D – No need to rush. Save it for a rainy day.
F – Good that I saw it on the big screen but wish I hadn’t paid for it.