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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Nolan's first great film after a decade of over-hyped messes either foregoes most of his weaknesses or turns them into strengths: the sustained mood, the absence of a main character with backstory. The chaos turns to clarity by the end, and this is truly a war movie for its moment, a gauntlet of perseverance through some very unheroic emotions. The ending is the closest Nolan has come to finding the right balance.
I don't think I'm used to Nolan not using his talents to show us how smart he thinks he is. You can tell this was an emotional endeavour for him. He's replaced his usual pseudo-Intellectualism with an experience of an isolated moment in time. The first act was the best work Nolan has ever done.
Either a high-concept action film parred-down or a series of pen portraits writ large - or probably a hybrid of the two. Situation and reaction are everything, thin sink-or-swim characterisation is pencilled in during the moment; but it's a kinetically thrilling montage with a simple often ruthless logic. It's refreshing to be free of political revisionism and for lower case patriotism to be pragmatically presented.
Un deslumbrante espectaculo bélico que aprovecha las bondades del formato IMAX para conseguir elaboradas secuencias de acción en un film cuyo defecto es su redundante exaltación heroíca del patriotismo británico en lugar de un adecuado desarrollo de los personajes. Sin duda se trata de un estupendo ejercicio de éstilo, aunque uno preferiría ver que para la próxima Nolan consiga llevar a cabo una verdadera película.
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.