While the majority of people on Twitter are having an absolute meltdown because a lady with a vagina wasn’t nominated for Best Director in 2020, one man who absolutely deserved his nomination was Sam Mendes. Given the backstory that this film is based on the real-life stories of writer/director Mendes’s grandfather from his WW1 days, it really isn’t surprising to see the effort and commitment to filmmaking on display with the film 1917.
A story about a man with a message is the best way, to sum up the story. Two soldiers are on a timely mission to prevent the slaughter of 1600 lives by delivering a “stand down” order. The plot is as backbones as they come because Sam Mendes knows the story is in the journey and visually the film takes advantage of every possible detail. All of the hype you have heard about the film’s cinematography is well deserved as it is one of the most beautifully shot films in years. Legendary Cinematographer Roger Deakins hits another home run to add to his long storied catalog. Mendes and Deakins’s strategy of long takes staged as one continuous shot is remarkably effective. The duo doesn’t waste a single detail of a shot, it is one of those efforts to have to applaud as a dying committing to filmmaking in modern times.
The acting is solid with two youngsters play our avatars through this journey and veteran actors such as Colin Firth and Mark Strong have a strong presence with cameo appearances. 1917 isn’t a typical war film, while every shot displays intense and intimate World War 1 experiences, the movie isn’t nearly as brutal and exhausting as other movies in the genre.
1917 is a Cinematic Marvel along with one of the best films of the year whether you count is for 2019 or 2020. Worth the price of admission and critical acclaim, 1917 is a gripping must-see film to restore hope in cinema for a broken industry.