TV & FILM

Director Sam Mendes Takes Us Back to WWI with Debut Trailer for ‘1917’

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brian-mcgee - August 2, 2019

 

With the notable exception of last year's outstanding documentary They Shall Not Grow Old, there hasn't been much love on screen for World War I. Oscar winning director Sam Mendes (Road to Perdition, Skyfall) is hoping to change that with this year's 1917, a film that bears more than a passing resemblance to Christopher Nolan's WWII film Dunkirk. The aesthetic of both films is eerily similar, as is the accomplished cast of British actors playing supporting roles to the relatively unknown leads.

Here's the plot synopsis for the film, set to be released in North America on Christmas Day...

At the height of the First World War, two young British soldiers, Schofield (Captain Fantastic’s George MacKay) and Blake (Game of Thrones’ Dean-Charles Chapman) are given a seemingly impossible mission. In a race against time, they must cross enemy territory and deliver a message that will stop a deadly attack on hundreds of soldiers—Blake’s own brother among them.

Among the more recognizable faces in the film are Colin Firth, Benedict Cumberbatch, Mark Strong, and Richard Madden, making the comparisons to Dunkirk even harder to avoid. One lesson I certainly hope Mendes takes from Nolan's film is that less is more when it comes to the running time. Had Dunkirk been a sprawling three-hour epic like most of Nolan's movies over the last decade, it probably would have been far too overwhelming an experience for most audience members. Instead the film's 107-minute running time makes the most out of every minute, and I sincerely hope Mendes takes this to heart since his films have started to get pretty damn long themselves.

1917 is set to hit theaters in the middle of prestige picture season, coming to North America on December 25.

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