Land, Air, Sea

Dunkirk is Christopher Nolan’s most serious attempt at an Oscar to date. Since the most critically acclaimed directors managed to win by switching to historical drama. Dunkirk very accurately details the events of 1940 in Dunkirk, France during World War II. When allied troops found themselves surrounded by Nazi forces. Because Christopher Nolan’s films draw crowds, it was a perfect opportunity to teach them history. Since I don’t recall learning about the event in social studies. Like almost every Nolan project, Dunkirk is nonlinear. Focusing on many sides of the battle.

  1. The Mole (one week) – Taking place primarily on land, it follows a group of British soldiers attempting to make their way towards the beaches while avoiding enemy fire. You feel every bit of fear and bravery even with long absences of dialogue. Kenneth Branagh is the most high profile actor in the segment, but One Direction’s Harry Styles is the one who took most people by surprise.
  2. The Sea (one day) – Taking place on the ocean, it follows a civilian’s attempt to help evacuate the stranded soldiers. It offers the film’s most human moments. As Nolan’s favorite Cillian Murphy plays a rescued soldier with PTSD. Mark Rylance is the boat captain since he recently won an Oscar.
  3. The Air (one hour) – Taking place in the sky, it follows the pilots who shot down enemy planes. Tom Hardy’s character is the one who delivers the final blow at his own expense. In a role that once again requires him to cover his face.

In conclusion, Dunkirk has a winning score, sharp direction, massive cinematography, and an emphasis on actions over dialogue. Yet it didn’t win Best Picture or Director. I’m usually not one to watch war movies. So I had trouble following Dunkirk from time to time. When I really stop to analyze it though, I see all the effort that was put into it. All the much needed renewed admiration that soldiers got after its release. Over 300,000 brave men were evacuated from Dunkirk. For that, I will always salute.

Dunkirk

Soldiers look in horror

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