Dunkirk (2017)

The enemy has driven the British and French armies to the sea. Trapped at Dunkirk, they await their fate. Hoping for deliverance. For a miracle.

In honor of Memorial Day and all of those who have died while serving in our Armed Forces, I figured I’d review one of my favorite war movies (even though this one doesn’t really deal with our soldiers…) that I just recently re-watched on my flight to Athens. 

I live for a good war movie and this is definitely one! Christopher Nolan (The Dark Knight & Inception) did his thang (but that was to be expected)! This movie was well shot, well cast, well acted and had a great score (Hans Zimmer) that really enhanced the film. Just enough tension and hope…as a viewer, you really could empathize with those boys because it was so realistic and authentic!

Fionn Whitehead (Tommy) was great in his first major film…he was a natural as a young man thrust into a scary situation who’s just trying to survive. I love me some Harry Styles and was pleasantly surprised by his effortless acting abilities…he was very good in his major movie debut. The emotional and vulnerability of these young men thrust into one of the worst wars in history came across effortlessly through this film that focused on the “communal heroism”…all the small acts of many…from the father and son (Mark Rylance & Tom Glynn-Carney) risking their lives to save others to the fighter pilot (Jack Lowden) continuing his mission to protect his fellow servicemen despite being in mortal danger himself. Aneurin Barnard who played Gibson (aka “Frenchie”) in a mostly silent performance was superb…he conveyed so many emotions through his facial expressions and body language alone. It was also great seeing Kenneth Branagh in this…I used to be obsessed with him back in the day. I also enjoyed Cillian Murphy in this (Peaky Blinders is one of my faves!) but I wasn’t a huge fan of his character, but I definitely sympathized with him and understood his apprehension.

He’s shell-shocked, George. He’s not himself. He might never be himself again.

There were so many moments where I found myself holding my breath right along with the boys…this was such a fascinating and heartbreaking (and soul crushing) period in history and even when you think you’ve seen every battle or story, a new story or new perspective is brought to the big screen (this one showed the fierce WWII battle and evacuation at Dunkirk from the air, land and sea).  Overall, this was cinema at its finest…from the cinematography to the casting to the dialogue to the directing to the acting to the score and editing..everything was perfect! Definitely recommend! Currently Streaming on Max Go.

At the point of crisis, at the point of annihilation, survival is victory.