* There's a free outdoor screening of Dunkirk tomorrow night at Silo Park so we thought we'd revisit our review of Christopher Nolan's award-winning World War II epic. The movie starts at 9pm, but DJs, food trucks and the Silo bar start the fun at 4:30pm.
Christopher Nolan affirms his status as contemporary cinema's boldest blockbuster director with this intensely immersive and relentlessly stirring chronicle of the famous World War II evacuation.
Previously glimpsed during a bravura one-shot sequence in the 2007 film Atonement, the Dunkirk evacuation is an iconic World War II moment that has remained relatively under-explored in cinema. Until now.
In what history revealed to be a major turning point in the war, 400,000 allied soldiers found themselves stranded on the beaches of Dunkirk, France in June 1940. Without nearly enough military transport to reach safe shores just across the English channel, a flotilla of hundreds of civilian boats was engaged to bring the lads home.
Although Nolan's film is spread upon an impossibly huge canvas, it maintains a firm and confident focus on its own humanity. The gargantuan scale of the events is effectively conveyed via three very human perspectives. The action on the beach, on the sea and in the sky is all driven by character first, a remarkable achievement considering the epic magnitude of what is happening around these characters.
While big names like Kenneth Branagh, Tom Hardy and Mark Rylance anchor the cast with their reliable sturdiness, the best work is done by the other relatively unknown young actors, among which pop star Harry Styles distinguishes himself in his acting debut by not sticking out.
All the technical elements of the film push their respective boundaries, but the sequences featuring Hardy's squadron of Spitfires in combat are something truly astonishing to behold. Nolan's trademark weighty authenticity elevates the cinematic dogfight to unheralded new heights of tension and immersion, and I was rendered giddy with respectful delight.
Classic and innovative in equal measure, this well-timed ode to the indomitability of the human spirit is pure cinema at its best.
Tom Hardy, Cillian Murphy, Harry Styles
M (Violence and offensive language)
The director of
strikes again with epic World War II tale.