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Movie Review: 1917 (2019)


Director: Sam Mendes

Cast: George McKay, Dean-Charles Chapman, Richard Madden, Colin Firth


Roger Deakins has done it again. After his monumental use of excellent cinematography in 2017’s Blade Runner 2049, for which he won an Academy Award, he will strike again this year. The entire film is shot beautifully and is visually arresting, with fantastic set pieces and believable situations the main protagonists are put through. The entire film feels as if it was shot in a one-shot format, and there are times that you can slightly tell there there was a cut made, but Deakin’s camerawork is honestly some of, if not the best, I’ve ever seen in any of the films he’s worked on, especially this one. Sam Mendes, however, struck a gold mine with a captivating story and truly amazing original screenplay that is sure to be a threat at the Academy Awards. Considering the last time Mendes won was for 2000’s American Beauty, which captured Best Picture and gave Mendes his first and only Best Director award, he seems to be a real threat again at the Oscars.

Thomas Newman’s score was a monumental success, and I legitimately still listen to it on certain occasions when I want to be reminded how purely excellent the musical direction Newman took was. He is a dark horse at the Academy Awards, mainly because Hildur Guðnadóttir has been sweeping Awards Season for her involvement in Joker (2019). However, the tension throughout the entire film felt real, considering these two lance corporals are literally smack dab in the line of fire. Newman helps to convey the emotion of our protagonists with an unforgettable, heart wrenching, award-deserving score. However, the only issue I had with this film was the way it developed its characters. The film was so absorbed with capturing the best cinematography award that it forgot to give its main characters decent character development. When these characters were in the line of fire, I didn’t care as much because they hadn’t been properly developed enough prior to that moment for me to feel what they were feeling. However, that doesn’t take away from the fact that Sam Mendes wrote an amazing script for an amazing, realistic, and gritty movie that once again found a way to revolutionize the beguiling art of cinematography. Look for this movie to win many accolades in February.

Grade: A


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