As 2019 comes to a close, cinema fans have a bevy of awards quality fare to look forward to. THE IRISHMAN hits Netflix this Wednesday with MARRIAGE STORY following suit on December 6. JOKER is also generating massive awards buzz as is Quentin Tarantino‘s ode to Hollywood’s Golden Age with ONCE UPON A TIME…IN HOLLYWOOD. Yes, whether it’s crowd pleasers like A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD or the harsh realities of class struggle with PARASITE, there’s a deluge of quality cinema available.
However, one of the films being quietly overlooked is Oscar winning director Sam Mendes‘ upcoming WWI movie 1917. Recently, the flick screened for a select few critics and based on early reactions, it’s safe to say 1917 will also be a major awards contender:
I’ve seen a lot of movies and know how they are made and I have zero idea how Sam Mendes and Roger Deakins pulled off the cinematography in #1917. It’s a stunning cinematic achievement and easily the front runner for the Oscar in cinematography. Mind blown. pic.twitter.com/Cz1Gri9NqP
— Steven Weintraub (@colliderfrosty) November 24, 2019
1917 is not for the faint of heart. An unforgettable anxiety-inducing cinematic roller-coaster ride. Sam Mendes & Roger Deakins have outdone themselves. A truly unique war film that puts the viewer into the war & on the front lines. A must-see on the big screen. #1917Movie pic.twitter.com/HpIG2LOKrL
— Scott Menzel (@TheOtherScottM) November 24, 2019
‘1917’ is a thrilling, immersive, emotional journey into the heart of war. It’s exceptional on a technical level, yet frequently stunning in its simplicity. Sam Mendes & DP Roger Deakin (along with their crew) created a hypnotic cinema experience that is both riveting & moving. pic.twitter.com/qCrdquwdqC
— edgarwright (@edgarwright) November 17, 2019
1917 is THE technical achievement of 2019. We’re with these men through every footstep & it’s unlike any war film you’ve ever seen before. Epic & tense direction by Sam Mendes, emotional & exhilarating music from Thomas Newman & an all timer from cinematographer Roger Deakins. pic.twitter.com/L0C7hKxR6C
— Matt Neglia (@NextBestPicture) November 23, 2019
1917 is quite a thing. Always intense, often horrific (at times it feels like watching an actual horror movie). I was skeptical of the “one continuous shot” aspect — worried it would get too cute with it — but it really works for this story, putting us right there in this hell
— Mike Ryan (@mikeryan) November 23, 2019
Although most of these reactions praise the visual side of 1917, it also appears to be quite the harrowing story as well. Sam Mendes has always been a master storyteller, going as far back as AMERICAN BEAUTY and the criminally underrated ROAD TO PERDITION. 1917 sounds like a perfect marriage of visceral story and stunning visuals. And with the GOAT Roger Deakins behind the camera that’s hardly surprising.
Here’s a brief synopsis of the film:
At the height of the First World War during Spring 1917 in northern France, two young British soldiers, Schofield (George MacKay) and Blake (Dean-Charles Chapman), are given a seemingly impossible mission to deliver a message which will warn of an ambush during one of the skirmishes soon after the German retreat to the Hindenburg Line during Operation Alberich. The two recruits race against time, crossing enemy territory to deliver the warning and keep a British battalion of 1,600 men, which includes Blake’s own brother, from walking into a deadly trap.The pair must give their all to accomplish their mission by surviving the war to end all wars.