RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — A World War II Drama is getting lots of Oscar buzz at the theaters.
Dunkirk was not the allies greatest moment in World War Two, but it was a turning point in the conflict. British troops were in retreat and had just the English channel, 26 miles across, to get home. With few ships to come to their rescue, and with threats from German U-boats below and bombers above, the boats that did show were sitting ducks.
It was 1940, more than a year before America entered the war. The call went out to every available boat to help evacuate the troops. Mark Rylance stars as one of the captains who answered the call. Tom Hardy stars as an RAF pilot trying to make the skies safe. Harry Styles stars as one of the 400,000 foot soldiers desperate to get off the beach. Ken Branagh stars as commander in charge of the massive operation. Failure to get even a fraction of the soldiers to the safety of Britain would leave the country vulnerable to a Nazi attack.
“Dunkirk” is a stunning cinematic experience that gives the audience some incredible perspective into a real life event.
Director Christopher Nolan has done this without having a true main character and while not giving the enemy much of a face or any real screen time.
The movie also has very little dialogue. Thanks to the non-linear narrative style, which I freely admit is a bit jarring at first, the audience is forced to pay attention for context clues and a sweeping, moving camera telling the story from both above and below. Yet, the film manages to feel very intimate while telling a very big story.
With its French coast setting during World War II, the film is drawing lots of comparisons to Steven Spielberg’s brutal and raw “Saving Private Ryan.” They are very different pictures, but both are great at painting accurate and engrossing portraits of war.
“Dunkirk” should not be missed, it will be talked about more during awards season. It earns an A.