During World War 1, two young British soldiers, Blake and Schofield, are tasked with getting an important cease order through no-mans-land and enemy lines to prevent a massacre as British troops and Blake’s brother walk into a trap set by the Germans.
While Schofield (George MacKay) is the more experienced fighter, already earning a medal, Blake (Dean-Charles Chapman) has a brother in the group heading into the trap. They set out right away against their best judgement, knowing that crossing no-mans-land during daylight is a suicide mission. In one night they must travel through some of the most dangerous land and somehow convince Colonel Mackenzie of the trap.
With some big hitter stars like Colin Firth, Benedict Cumberbatch, and Mark Strong in small roles, the two main characters carry the story. It’s Blake’s and Schofield’s story as much as the story of the war. We get to know them from Blake’s joking nature to Schofield’s heartache at being sent back to the front.
Written, directed and produced by Sam Mendes. 1917 is loosely based on stories Sam’s grandfather who was a messenger in WW1 told him. Taking those stories, Sam wove a compelling movie. Filmed in one shot, the movie feels incredible intimate. I sat holding my breath for most of the movie waiting for the next surprise to show. The cinematography shows both the harshness and beauty in war.
This is a movie meant to be seen on the big screen. It fills your senses and draws you in. Already the winner of the Golden Globe for Best Picture and Best Director, I anticipate we will be seeing more awards heading toward 1917.
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