Tuesday, July 25, 2017


I went into DUNKIRK with high expectations, not always the best way to see a flick. I knew it would be visually engaging, even if I didn't see it on an iMax screen. According to some things I've read Christopher Nolan who wrote, directed, and was one of the producers on the film, shot it in 70mm, a rare treat these recent decades (you gotta go back to movies like LAWRENCE OF ARABIA in its original form). But whatever format you see it in, and the bigger the screen the better, Nolan puts you in the middle of the action.

So it's grand to see and experience visually and sonically (the usual theater sound systems turned up high make you feel even more in the middle of the action) and there's a great cast. But, sometimes Nolan can be too clever for my taste, and at times in DUNKIRK his plot with three different time signatures (to use a musical term) and character development challenges (too many with too little development in some cases) felt almost like he was testing the audience to see if we were paying the right amount of attention.

I was hoping to see more of Mark Rylance, one of my favorite actors and never disappointing, as well as other old faves, but it was mostly the lesser known (to me) younger actors who carried the weight of the film and did it perfectly most of the time. I'd just love to have seen more historical context and political perspective, as well as less clever plotting and less focus on so many characters and more on a few with more depth (though Rylance's character's son was brilliantly nuanced by the actor playing him).

As the friend I saw it with said, when I pointed out that Nolan had written, directed, and produced DUNKIRK: "He should have gotten some help." Worth seeing, with a grain of salt.

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