THE WEBER MOVIE COUNTDOWN

THE GOAL FOR 2018: 200 MOVIES WATCHED BY MIDNIGHT NEW YEAR'S EVE!  (AFTER TOPPING OUT AT 194 in 2017)

CAN HE DO IT?

​​THE WEBER MOVIE COUNTDOWN

DUNKIRK (2017)


How can a war movie shot on Imax and shown on hopelessly gigantic screens come off as intimate and even small, filled with moments where you can almost see yourself among the allied soldiers trapped on the beach at Dunkirk?  Christopher Nolan’s version of the infamous WWII story of Dunkirk, where something like 400,000 troops were trapped on the beach, pinned between tanks, foot soldiers and German air attacks, to me comes off that way.  With very little dialogue and long harried takes of soldiers, pilots and sailors doing whatever they can to defend the beach, get the heck back to Britain to reinforce the UK’s battle, or fight the Germans in the air, Dunkirk intercuts ably between different timelines and different but no less harrowing experiences.  There’s the Spitfire pilot (Tom Hardy), fighting valiantly until virtually the last drop of gas is gone from his tank.  The commander (Kenneth Branagh) who reluctantly cannot send many more ships to rescue the troops – he needs to save them for the next battle - possibly the battle for Britain.  The trio of soldiers (Aneurin Barnard, Harry Styles, and Fionn Whitehead) trying everything to escape the beach – and foundering almost every time.  And the private citizen (Mark Rylance) who mobilizes his small yacht and joins a flotilla of small boats in an almost ludicrous attempt to help evacuate these soldiers – at a tremendous cost.  Somehow these individuals with almost no dialogue doing what they can make this big picture small, intimate and scary.  Don’t see this on a laptop, a phone, a small TV.  It’s going to be a totally different film if you do.  One other enhancement for us: we viewed this film in France, at a theater on the Champs-Elysees during a rainy night, and it was fascinating to hear and see patrons’ reactions to something that was a piece of their history.  Remember, the allies were abandoning Dunkirk to save their men and marshall their forces to fight another day.  The strategy worked – but it was a sad day in France, regardless.


 

TLA one-word review: intense