FILM REVIEW | 1917

Awards season nearly always produces a fantastic war film or two.

The past decade alone has seen the likes of Dunkirk, Hacksaw Ridge, Bridge of Spies, The Imitation Game, American Sniper, Zero Dark Thirty and Lincoln nominated for best picture at the Oscars.

It's now 2020, and audiences have been gifted one of the best yet: 1917.

The film is a technical masterpiece with a story for the ages.

Directed by Sam Mendes - who's debut film American Beauty picked up the best picture Oscar back in 1999 - 1917 follows two British soldiers stationed in France in World War I who must make a perilous trek against the clock to prevent 1600 soldiers from marching into a deadly trap.

The pair, Lance Corporal Blake and Lance Corporal Schofield, are played by relative up-and-comers Dean-Charles Chapman (who played Tommen Baratheon in Game of Thrones) and George MacKay (whose previous work includes 11.22.63 and Where Hands Touch).

The film is littered with cameos from other celebrated British actors, including Colin Firth, Andrew Scott, Mark Strong, Benedict Cumberbatch and Richard Madden.

Incredible: Young up-and-coming actor George MacKay stars as Lance Corporal Schofield in Sam Mendes' immersive war film 1917, in cinemas now, rated MA15+.

Incredible: Young up-and-coming actor George MacKay stars as Lance Corporal Schofield in Sam Mendes' immersive war film 1917, in cinemas now, rated MA15+.

The strong story and brilliant performances are reason enough to see 1917, but what's got all the film nerds talking is the way the movie has been constructed.

Mendes has crafted his film to look like one long, unbroken shot.

That means there's no visible cuts, no jumping back and forth between characters, no leaving the action for a moment to see what's going on just over there - nothing to remove you from exactly what is going on for these soldiers.

The technical mastery needed to pull off something like this is mind-boggling - there's even a moment where they must escape the path of a crashing plane.

There is nothing about 1917 that's not exceptional and it's not at all surprising that it picked up the best drama picture gong at the recent Golden Globes.

It'll face tough competition from critically-acclaimed films Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, The Irishman, Marriage Story and Joker, but 1917 has a strong shot at winning the Oscar.

Rating: 9/10

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