Sunday, 12 January 2020

1917 and all that

I have been to see '1917', as I'm sure many readers will have. ["I cannot refrain" interjects the long absent Rhetorical Pedant "from pointing out that you don't have many readers."] Fair point, no offence taken. I have been to see '1917', as I'm sure a high proportion of my readers will have.

"What I am about to order you to do makes no sense at all. Do I make myself clear?"

I went to see it on an IMAX screen, which I think was a good decision because the film is all about the spectacle. The set-up, and therefore the plot, is frankly ridiculous. The first comment by my companion for the afternoon, a woman with so little interest in military history that she actually has a degree in Peace Studies, as we left the screen was "Why didn't they drop the message from an aeroplane?". Why not indeed? Still, I - and she - thoroughly enjoyed it and so would you. It is a feast for the eyes, full of tension and with emotional moments that ring true rather than being overplayed. I do wonder who milked the cow though.

As I am writing about films can I say that I have also seen 'Little Women' and 'Knives Out', both of which were also excellent. Both adopted a non-chronological approach to the narrative and in both cases it worked to great effect despite one being a classic, the fate of whose characters is well known to most viewers before it starts, and the other being a whodunnit, with the need for key details to be kept back until the end. They featured a number of British and Irish actors doing American accents and the only one that didn't wobble at all across the two films was Daniel Craig. I am inclined to believe that's because he wasn't so much attempting a real southern US accent as performing some strange concoction of his own; highly entertaining whatever it was.

Still, it was good to watch Christopher Plummer without constantly expecting him to whip out a guitar and start singing 'Edelweiss', something that always spoils 'Waterloo' for me.

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