To quote William Tecumseh Sherman, ‘War is hell’. Yes, yes it is. Sam Mendes’ 1917 isn’t. It is a glorious, sweeping, epic movie. And when I say sweeping, I mean SWEEPING. The entire movie looks like it was filmed in one long continuous shot. Really. Is it a gimmick? Maybe. But it’s a gimmick that works.
Throughout the movie, the audience feels like they are right next to Lance Corporal Schofield (George MacKay) and Lance Corporal Blake (Dean-Charles Chapman)* as they cross into enemy territory to warn another unit that they are walking into a trap. The feel of the movie is almost like playing a WWI video game with a lot more of emotion at stake thanks to the script by Mendes and Krysty Wilson-Cairns. The French countryside looks both beautiful and devastating during war.
1917 won Best Motion Picture-Drama at this year’s Golden Globes award, as did Mendes for best director. The movie will likely ride those accolades all the way to the Academy Awards.
This movie is a must see for movie buffs (especially WWI ones). May I suggest you see it back to back with a visit to Kansas City’s National WWI Museum and Memorial? You don’t live in KC? Well, here is a good reason to come and visit. The museum is GLORIOUS!
1917 is also a must see for those of us that forget how horrible and devastating war truly is. If we have never served sometimes it’s easy to cheer patriotically from afar but it’s nice to be reminded that soldiers aren’t faceless men and women. They are sons, daughters, husbands, wives, parents, children, and friends. We need to remember this from time to time.
This movie is also for movie lovers that need to check off all the Oscar movies. Like I said, this is sure to be a favorite come February 9, 2020.
The movie is rated R and depicts wartime violence so be aware if you are planning on bringing children. Also remember that there is gunfire and graphic war imagery. Anyone sensitive should maybe skip the movie or wait until it streams so that they can watch it from the comfort of their own home.
*Plus there are cameos where you feel like you are down in the trenches with the likes of Colin Firth, Andrew Scott, Benedict Cumberbatch, and Richard Madden. Winning all around!
1917 is NOW playing in theaters.