During the Dunkirk evacuation, which took place at the beginning of World War II, hundreds of thousands of British and Allied troops are surrounded by enemy forces. Trapped on the beach with their backs to the sea they face an impossible situation as the enemy closes in.
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I wasn't planning on seeing it in the theatre. My brother's friend cancelled at the last moment, so he invited me. It really is a superb film, despite not being in my wheelhouse. There was a fair amount of disorientation, and of course it was way too loud. I loved the soundtrack. The acting was superb.
70mm Imax. Nolan's 'Dunkirk' is a staggering effort both visually and aurally. Nolan's direction is masterful as is the cinematography of Hoyte Van Hoytema, the editing of Lee Smith and a stunning score by Hans Zimmer. Less successful is the 3 prong narrative and an ensemble of actors not really given a chance to shine save Fionn Whitehead and Tom Glynn-Carney who are both excellent. An Imax must see regardless.
Extra points because I have always found Nolan and his cult of personality to be exhausting. But this was a feast for the senses – the beautiful lensing, meticulous art direction, a stressful and oppressive score. Sure the history itself was a bit of a footnote, and became something more of a backdrop. But one cannot deny that this was technically marvellous. A nearly dialogue-tree, temporal, arthouse war epic.
Nolan had to fail with INTERSTELLAR so he could make DUNKIRK. His new interest in 'emotional realism' is, this time, not hampered by implausible sci-fi or Matthew McConaughey bawling his eyes out. While a faceless enemy and disorienting timeline may alienate some viewers, this is gargantuan filmmaking that can also be tender and poetic during quieter moments. A technical marvel, it is Nolan's best work since MEMENTO.
There's no character (only action-hero figurant full of easy-clichés); there's no Dunkirk's 1940 (only imaginary-simulacrum-overworking-technicolor spaces setting in 2017 British's lands and seas post-Brexit). There's few historical context (only hints). Therefore, folks not familiar with Dunkirk will assume that the ''fairy-tale'' can be happen anywhere else. I got screwed by Hollywood-marketing. Adieu au langage.
3,8.This is one tough cookie to judge. Impecable visuals, a claustrophobic soundtrack but not what I wanted to see from Nolan. I get his vision and love for this subject but the constant turning back and forth between the three major set pieces (land, sea and air) distracted me from the horror that the kids were facing. Nonetheless, this is one of the most ambitious and experimental movies you'll ever see about WWII.
Probably Nolan's best film, simply by virtue of (almost) completely avoiding the conceptual inanities that tend to make his stuff outright dunderheaded. Hans Zimmer's score and the sound design are definitely impressive (especially in Imax), but ultimately this is a bravura exercise in visual storytelling. Even if the film sustained the heights it periodically reaches (it doesn't), it would still be exhausting.
Nolan retreats from the overwrought melodrama that marred Interstellar and the last Batman by eschewing character development in lieu of a kind of pure cinema that would leave Eisenstein drooling in a puddle of IMAX discharge. In the context of war films, (which often pass off trite melodrama as depth) this is more than stylish gimmickry but rather a commentary on the dehumanizing effects of war.