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Friday, October 13, 2017

Movie Review: Dunkirk

I had been anxiously waiting for Dunkirk since I heard about it. I saw it at the AMC IMAX theater in my backyard on the day it was released and loved it. It's intense, relentless, and flies by. It met all of my expectations.

During World War II, the battle of France in the late spring of 1940 was most decidedly a disaster for the Allies as Hitler’s army blitzkrieged (yes, I created that word, but it fits) France, Belgium, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands. The Germans mowed down these Low Countries in 6 weeks. But there was one glimmer of hope at the end of this battle...Operation Dynamo. The Allied forces were pushed back to the sea, most notably at the French city of Dunkirk. Now while this in & of itself was bad and the Allies were losing, this operation was a success in spite of it being a rescue effort/retreat. When Operation Dynamo started, almost 340,000 Allied troops (about 2/3 of them British & 1/3 French) were stranded near & in Dunkirk. Dunkirk tells an intense story of that rescue mission.

Dunkirk tells its stories from three different perspectives: (1) The land/mole (a mole is a pier/breakwater usually made of stone), (2) The sea, and (3) The air. The timeframe for each of these perspectives is different too, so it does get a little confusing as to how much time passes. But that confusion does not distract from the story-telling.

The story on the land/mole focuses on young soldiers trying to get rescued. The story on the sea is all about those civilians (one boat in particular, captained by Mr. Dawson played by Mark Rylance) who were commissioned by the British government to participate in the rescue mission. The story in the air shows how Spitfire aircraft (on in particular, piloted by Farrier played by Tom Hardy) protected the soldiers on the ground from being killed by the Nazis.

I don't usually make Oscar predictions until February, but I predict that this movie will be nominated for at least 12 Oscars and will win quite a few of them. Here are the nominations I believe it will receive:

1) Best Picture
2) Supporting Actor (Mark Rylance)
3) Cinematography
4) Best Director
5) Film Editing
6) Music (original score)
7) Production Design
8) Sound Editing
9) Sound Mixing
10) Visual Effects
11) Original Screenplay
12) Costume Design

I think it is a masterpiece of filmmaking by Christopher Nolan. Its visual and sound effects are some of the best I’ve experienced. It is action-packed, yet hits on an emotional level as well. I was on the edge of my seat for the entire movie and didn’t breathe until the final scene. Yes, I loved this movie...9.0/10 stars.

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