Stunning technique and talent in perfect form. Written and directed by Sam Mendes, this riveting movie has immense meaning because it was actually inspired by Sam Mendes’ own grandfather’s experiences in WWI and based on his book Autobiography Of Alfred H. Mendes, 1897-1991 (The UWI Press Biography Series) and the movie was made in his memory.
TIPS FOR PARENTS:
Some profanity and F-bombs.
You see dead horses and bodies (all prosthetic, of course), complete with circling flies, rats, and black crows.
You see a man’s life blood drain from his face.
Spoken French with subtitles
You see a man kill another man with his hands like in that devastating scene in Saving Private Ryan. That scene has haunted me for years.
THINGS I LIKED:
Fantastic cinematography by 14 times Academy Award nominee Roger Deakins. Surely the work he does in this movie will win him an Oscar. I loved the long sequences in the beginning of 1917 when they walked through the trenches. The entire film is shot and edited to make it look like one long, single shot that takes place in real time. Wow. Seriously, the camera work is next level. For example, the camera keeps running from the ground level, water level, and over the shoulder in incredibly realistic shots that make you feel like you’re standing right next to the characters in the middle of all the action.
The cast is very good and includes excellent performances by George MacKay, Dean-Charles Chapman, Mark Strong, Colin Firth, Benedict Cumberbatch, Andrew Scott, and Richard Madden.
Some salty humor provided by Andrew Scott’s character. It’s the only time the audience I sat with laughed.
The music provides a feeling of non-stop tension yet doesn’t become monotonous.
How they prepared the fields and landscapes to really look like war-torn Europe was truly amazing.
I loved how Blake hurt his hand on barbed wire at the very beginning of his journey so that he had to continue babying it amidst his struggles.
For a truly visceral experience, watch this movie on the biggest screen you can.
I loved the way the movie began and ended. Perfect.
It doesn’t feel like a Hollywood movie where everyone has endless ammunition. It feels real.
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