Sam Mendes’ WWI film, 1917, has been making waves since its release. The critically lauded film added to its trophy collection by winning Best Picture at the Producer’s Guild Awards.
‘1917’ is No Longer an Oscar Underdog
In the industry, winning Best Picture at the PGAs is considered indicative of a successful Oscar Best Picture campaign. Historically, that has been the case 68% of the time. However, the PGA win is not the only contributing factor for the anticipated Oscar win.
‘1917’ has performed exceptionally well since coming to the US and the stat sheet for the film is impressive. The critically lauded film knocked “Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker” off its spot at the top of the box office last weekend. It took the top spot after a hard fought battle between the aforementioned “Star Wars” and the Safdie brothers’ “Uncut Gems”. At the Golden Globes, 1917 won awards for Best Picture and Best Director while enjoying a nomination for Best Original Score.
‘1917’: Breathtaking, Brutal, Beautiful
The awards ‘1917’ has already received are evidence that there is something special here. Critics have already stated as much, championing the film’s unique cinematography and its story. The camera work and editing created the feel that the entire film was shot in one take. Single take shots have been used to incredible effect in the past by films such as “Children of Men” and television’s “True Detective”. By stretching out this effect across the film’s two hour run time, Mendes effectively captures the intensity of war. Mark Kermode of The Guardian described how Mendes “plunge[d] the viewer into the trenches, to breathless effect.”
WWI was a war unlike any other in history. The industrial revolution enhanced the effectiveness of the weaponry to such an extent that it triggered international arms reforms. When new technology was combined with the archaic military strategies and the sheer brutality of trench warfare, the results were unyielding madness. Paul Asay of Plugged In made note of that, stating, “World War I is perhaps unequaled in its horrific brutality. 1917 takes us into that horror and doesn’t let us out of it for two hours.”
‘1917’ is WWI’s ‘Saving Private Ryan’
It is not surprising that the film is drawing comparisons to another war epic, ‘Saving Private Ryan’. The plot of 1917 focuses on two British soldiers undertaking a seemingly impossible mission to deliver a message that will save an entire battalion. The cinematography has been heralded as ground breaking and stunning. The content is being described as brutal, nerve-wracking and intense. When taking into consideration that ‘Saving Private Ryan’ took home five out of eleven Oscar nominations, the hopes for ‘1917’ having a successful Academy Awards seem even more reasonable.