1917: Does the Movie Deserve Accolades?
Sam Mendes’s 1917 is vacuuming up all the praise and it’s very good at being a tense war movie that is crafted as if it was filmed in one shot.* And yet, when we step a bit back from the cinematography shenanigans, is there enough story? I’m feeling torn, but I can tell you that I enjoyed both Dean-Charles Chapman** and George MacKay, *** I found one scene late at night in a town unbelievable, and I thought the depictions of rats was on point.****
The verdict: Good
(There will be much grumbling if this wins Best Picture. Not Green Book levels of grumbling—there will be no assigned reading—but grumbling nevertheless)
Where watched: Cinema 21 with Matt, who enjoyed it.
(Also, I noticed for the first time a private screening area in the balcony.)
Consider also watching:
*It was not.
**Although the preview clued me in about him
***He was the oldest son of Viggo Mortenson in Captain Fantastic
****Also, I’m quite happy to have avoided service during the Great War.
- What other movie razzle-dazzle (more easily created with CGI) do you want to see come back?
- What would you lean on to get through fighting a terrible war?
Favorite IMDB trivia item:
Mendes says his grandfather Alfred, who entered WWI in 1916 as a 17-year-old, did indeed carry messages through no-man’s land, as per the mission in this film. His advantage was that he was only 5’4″ tall, and was often hidden by the battleground’s winter mist that usually hung as high as 6 feet. And after soldiering for two years in the muddy trenches, grandfather Alfred had a lifelong habit of constantly washing his hands. Yet, he never talked about his wartime experience until he was in his 70s.
(Short people for the win!)
Don’t miss out on the week’s reviews, plus bonus chatter. Delivered straight to your inbox. Subscribe!