The true story of the English soldiers of the Battle of Dunkirk, who were surrounded and stranded on the isle with no way of reaching home.
Written and Directed by Christopher Nolan
Starring Fionn Whitehead, Mark Rylance, Harry Styles, Tom Hardy, Cillian Murphy, Kenneth Branagh, Tom Glynn-Carney,
Barry Keoghan, Jack Lowden, James D'Arcy
Oscar Wins - Best Film Editing, Best Sound Editing,
Best Sound Mixing
Oscar Nominations - Best Picture, Best Director,
Best Original Score (Hans Zimmer), Best Cinematography,
Best Production Design
Dunkirk is a very powerful and moving film that shines a light on the individuality and humanity of the soldiers of World War II. Christopher Nolan delivers another emotionally charged and unforgettable movie-watching experience that really showcases the Battle of Dunkirk as the most decisive battle of the war. The Germans had driven the English and the French out of mainland Europe and had them trapped on the isle of Dunkirk, which was so painfully close to England that you could practically see it across the channel. With the Germans advancing by land and picking them off by air, the English commanders recruited civilian boats from home to save their soldiers. This is the story of how over 300,000 men were brought home from a battle that was very nearly the end of the war for England.
The most impressive thing about Nolan's war epic is how he treats his cast. There are almost no characters addressed by name, and the extras are just as vital as the big names. Every face is important to the story and is treated as such. It feels like Nolan opened a portal somewhere and allowed us a brief glimpse into the real battle itself. The cinematography, the sound work, and Hans Zimmer's supercharged, almost horror movie-esque score all work together to drive home the sheer intensity and power of this epic drama. The big name actors we do see are all fantastic, particularly Mark Rylance and Cillian Murphy, and help round out another great Nolan ensemble.
It's amazing how, in the end, it was human determination and the strength of England's unity that saved the lives of all those men and gave England the chance to continue fighting. While I can't speak for the historical accuracy of the film, I do believe that Nolan tried his hardest to stick to the facts as best he could, and it shows. Dunkirk is nothing less than a phenomenal film and will no doubt reap in the accolades come award season. In my eyes, it deserves everything it gets.