When writing headlines, I really try to not be hyperbolic. You know, the whole clickbait thing. It is my duty as writer/editor/content creator/professional-internet-idiot to be as up-front as possible while also still finding a way to entice you to further explore the content (AKA “click”).
So, when I say that Sam Mendes’ new film 1917 looks like the British version of Saving Private Ryan, I genuinely mean it.
Helmed by Sam Mendes — director of critically acclaimed films such as American Beauty, Road to Perdition, Jarhead, Revolutionary Road, and Skyfall — 1917 is absolutely loaded with talent, starring the likes of Colin Firth, Mark Strong, Benedict Cumberbatch, and Richard Madden.
While the official synopsis is frustratingly simple — “Two British soldiers experience one harrowing day while fighting in World War I” — the trailer seems to lay out the basic gist of the film: two young men are going to have to fight through hell and high water on an essentially suicidal mission in order to save the lives of 1600 men, including one of the main character’s brothers.
Sounds vaguely familiar (an extensively gritty film that follows a suicidal World War mission to save a brother), doesn’t it?
But perhaps most tantalizing of all — more so than the plot, director, and stars — is the cinematographer who shot the film, Roger Deakins.
To the non-film buffs out there, the cinematographer is the guy who’s directly behind the camera, setting up all of the film’s hopefully beautiful and everlasting images.
Think Tom Hardy standing in front of his burning plane in Dunkirk:
Or the Joker sticking his head out of a cop car window in The Dark Knight:
And there are arguably none out there better than Deakins, whose filmography is just a murderer’s row of bangers: The Shawshank Redemption, Fargo, The Big Lebowski, A Beautiful Mind, Jarhead, No Country For Old Men, True Grit, Skyfall, Prisoners, and Blade Runner 2049… just to name a few.
So, if nothing else, you know this movie is going to at least look incredible.
1917 is set to be released in theaters in the United States on Christmas Day.
Eric Italiano is a New York City-based writer and editor who still isn’t sure how he’s allowed to have this much fun for a living and will tell anyone who listens that Gotham City is canonically in New Jersey. You can contact him at email@example.com.