Sam Mendes’ single continuous shot World War I film “1917” finally screened this weekend in Los Angeles and New York and reviews have gone up today strongly suggesting it has immediately entered the awards race. In fact, it may already be a serious contender.
Boasting the cinematography of Oscar winner Roger Deakins, he and Mendes having previously collaborated on the gorgeously shot “Skyfall,” the new film follows two British soldiers tasked to save their fellow men from an ambush in a race against time.
Here’s a sampling of reviews so far for the film which currently sits at 90% on Rotten Tomatoes:
“Astonishing as his filmmaking can be at times, it’s Mendes’ attention to character, more than the technique, that makes “1917” one of 2019’s most impressive cinematic achievements.” – Peter DeBruge, Variety
“Sam Mendes’ 1917 is an amazingly audacious film; as exciting as a heist movie, disturbing as a sci-fi nightmare.” – Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
“This is a protean display of virtuoso filmmaking, one that film aesthetes will wallow in but that even ordinary audiences will note and appreciate.” – Todd McCarthy, THR
“The movie is more successful as a thriller than as a thoughtful examination of war and its horrors; Mendes seems less interested in the nightmare of battle and its effects on his characters than he is in Hitchcockian audience manipulation.” – Alonso Duralde, TheWrap
“There’s no time to pause, even for great beauty, a lesson that even “1917” is often loathe to honor.” – Kate Erbland, Indiewire
“Yes, this is all filmed to look like one shot, but what is astonishing about Deakins and Mendes’ framing is the often painterly way it walks through the valley of the shadow of death.” – David Crow, Den of Geek
“A visual knockout, a gripping war drama, a relentless action picture, a great “video game movie not based on a video game” and an ironic inversion of the ‘Lord of the Rings’.” – Scott Mendelsohn, Forbes
“1917” will be released in select cities on Christmas Day ahead of a January 10th wide release.