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Best Picture Watch – Nolan’s Dunkirk Comes at a Necessary Time

Christopher Nolan has chosen one of the most moving stories from WWII to tell with Dunkirk. Footage from the film has apparently stunned the folks at Cinemacon. Unlike Nolan’s epics like Inception or Interstellar, Dunkirk is not a surrealist’s tale, though of course it will be Nolan-esque in some ways. Dunkirk will be hitting American citizens, and perhaps British citizens, or anyone who is horrified by the course of recent events as we find ourselves suddenly being unwound from the safeguards put in place to keep Europe stable in the wake of World War II. Dunkirk is a heroic tale because of how it went down, who ordered it, and who helped rescue 400,000 trapped soldiers as the Nazis closed in. Yes, the methed out, coked out Nazi storm troopers seconds away from taking that beach and moving on to invade Britain. This didn’t happen because heroes came to the rescue. Of course any story involving Winston Churchill and WWII is going to be a tale of heroes. Churchill was the main objector of Hitler at the time and one of the few who called for war very early, way before the United States ever got involved.

And did we mention the Imax part?

Collider has a bit about Nolan and the film. Nolan said:

It’s one of the great human stories, and it’s one of the most suspenseful situations that I had ever heard of in my life. You have 400,000 men – the entire British army – trapped on the beach at Dunkirk. Their backs to the sea, home is only 26 miles away and it’s impossible to get to. The enemy is closing in, and there’s a choice between annihilation and surrender. I just think it’s the more extraordinarily suspenseful situation. That, I think, speaks to a lot of things that I am interested in with film.

And Nolan said:

I think people who know the story of Dunkirk, in particular, may be surprised by the intensity of the experience. It’s a very suspenseful story and we really try to do justice to that. The pacing is relentless, and the story and action scenes are extraordinarily intense. I think the lean, stripped-down nature of that, and how fast it moves, and what it puts you through in this short space of time… I think it has a different rhythm that I’ve worked in before.

Of all of the films coming out this year, Dunkirk is the one I’m most looking forward to. Not just because it’s Christopher Nolan directing, but also because this story – and the memory of Churchill, and that story on the beach which deserves to be told. I don’t want to jinx it by putting too much pressure on but it’s hard to look at this and not think about you know what. PSYYYYYYCHED! Bring. It. On.