In the Sam Mendes directed film 1917, life for two soldiers in The Great War, moves in real time from a quiet respite under the shade of a tree to an all out sprint to save 1,600 comrades from massacre.
For almost all of its 119 minute runtime 1917 presents the misery and challenge of war by following Lance Corporal Blake and Lance Corporal Schofield who are ordered to travel cross-country on foot to deliver a message to a Brigade about to advance into a deadly trap.
The trek of Dean-Charles Chapman (Game of Thrones, The Commuter) as Blake and George Mackey (Captain Fantastic) as Scofield is shown as if taken in a single shot sequence.
Academy Award Winners Cinematographer Roger Deakens, and Production Designer Dennis Gassner team up for third time in 1917 (Blade Runner 2049, Skyfall being the first two). The viewer is put along side the two soldiers – seeing only what they see. The result is visually breathtaking.
1917 works in great part because of the storyline and dialogue – by screenwriters Sam Mendes and Christy Wilson-Cairns. They provide you a means to care for two people you know absolutely nothing about, whom you first meet while they are resting under a tree, and with no backstory whatsoever.
The film score for 1917 is from Thomas Newman. Newman (The Shawshank Redemption, The Horse Whisperer) has been nominated for an Oscar 15 times without coming away the winner. The music in 1917 is wonderful and perfectly fitted to each scene.