Film Review: ‘Dark Waters’ ★★★★★

Direction: Todd Haynes
Screenplay: Mario Correa, Matthew Michael Carnahan, Nathaniel Rich
Cast: Mark Ruffalo, Anne Hathaway, Tim Robbins, Bill Camp
Victor Garber, Bill Pullman
Length: 126 minutes
Rating: 12A

A David v Goliath story that concerns all of us. Watch and learn.

On November 19, 2018, BBC Four broadcast an international documentary under its Storyville strand called ‘Poisoning America: The Devil We Know’. As horrifying as it was infuriating, this film burned itself into my memory due to its exposure of deliberate contamination and abhorrent exploitation by the financially blinded controllers of the DuPont chemical corporation against its own workforce, the state and the country. Not content with knowingly poisoning America, however, DuPont has poisoned every living creature on the planet. ‘Dark Waters’ dramatizes this frightening story to excellent effect.

Robert Billot (Ruffalo) is a corporate defence attorney for chemical companies. Adapted from the 2016 New York Times article ‘The Lawyer Who Became DuPont’s Worst Nightmare’, he enters the story in 1998 Cincinnati where he is approached by farmer Wilbur Tennant (Camp) whose livestock has been almost annihilated. While gesturing to the cow graveyard that was once his farmland, Tennant informs Billot at the scene of the crime that he has lost 190 cows before shooting another twice in the head as it charges them both uncontrollably. 191.

We follow one man as he takes on an empire and its structure in an attempt to break through the silence and subterfuge. If you think exposing the secrets of a corporation you once used to defend would be easy, think again. If DuPont thought that an information dump of thousands of paper files would be enough to put him off, they were wrong. Indeed, the cardboard boxes containing these files fill an entire room at the law firm, evoking the maze of Area 51 as featured in the first and fourth Indiana Jones films. A room with no view.

Mark Ruffalo as Mark Billot and Bill Camp as Wilbur Tennant – © 2020 Focus Features. A Comcast Company.

What Billot discovers is actually unbelievable. According to DuPont themselves, PFOA-C8 is an unregulated forever chemical that the body can’t break down so it can’t leave the bloodstream allowing it to accumulate over time. It causes cancer in people and animals and birth defects in babies, including those of the women that worked there. The chemical is used in the manufacture of Teflon, used on non-stick pans. DuPont conducted experiments on people and animals without their knowledge and all developed cancer, and the corporation disposed of hundreds of gallons of toxic waste upriver from Tennant’s farm.

At one point in ‘Dark Waters’, we learn that complainants have only one year to file suit after learning their water supply has been contaminated. DuPont dispatched letters to West Virginia informing residents that while the water wasn’t perfect, it wasn’t life-threatening 11 months ago, leaving Billot and his colleagues only one month to act. In a scene of striking resemblance, we learn the exact same information from the 2000 film ‘Erin Brockovich’ in which Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) was to blame, exhibiting proof that this evil manipulation of lives is still occurring at the highest level of business two decades on.

Assuredly directed by Todd Haynes, ‘Dark Waters’ is a cerebral exploration that unfolds in chronological order over 40 years. Slow pacing and a limited character count keep this story leisurely and focused, allowing us to process the events taking place. Unsurprisingly, we are confronted with a capitalist culture of greed; profits at all costs with complete disrespect for humanity and the environment. What is surprising is the unfathomable scale of these high crimes and misdemeanours at a corporation which in the very act of poisoning others, would also be poisoning themselves.

Anne Hathaway as Sarah Billot – © 2020 Focus Features. A Comcast Company.

The most impressive (nay, inspiring) aspect is the dedication and resilience of Billot as he relentlessly and restlessly battles Donnelly and Tom Terp (Robbins) at the corporation and the firm respectively. In fact, the stress of such work on his marriage and finances inflicts a minor stroke, landing him in hospital. With the support of his wife Sarah (Hathaway) he continues. It was only five years ago that DuPont finally settled the class action lawsuit for $671million, but only after they attempted to default on their agreement to compensate victims, forcing Billot to fight each case against them one by one. After the first three victims were awarded over $1million each, DuPont reconsidered.

Anchored by Ruffalo (also producer), Camp and Hathaway, all of whom deliver fine performances, ‘Dark Waters’ benefits immensely from its composer Marcelo Zarvos and cinematographer Edward Lachman. Light country music while driving cross-country is interspersed with dark war horns in the multi-storey car park, the de facto location for general foreboding while uncovering conspiracies. In contrast to ‘Erin Brockovich’ with its warm summer tones, the winter setting of ‘Dark Waters’ makes the already bleak subject matter even bleaker creating an atmosphere of near-constant cold monotone that David Fincher would be proud of. So cold. Just like hard cash.

‘Dark Waters’ is in cinemas now.

Elizabeth Warren drops out of the race for U.S. presidency – EN4 News

Owen Garner gives us the rundown on one of the biggest international stories, involving the US Presidential race. Democratic candidate Elizabeth Warren announced yesterday that she would be ending her campaign for the White House amid disappointing ‘Super Tuesday’ results, and Warren’s failure to win any states in the first primary contests of 2020. Reporter Christopher Lamb joins Owen in the studio to divulge on what exactly we can expect from the primaries now.

 

Gallery Review: ‘Where I Stand’ by Michael Wildman

Striking, gritty and at times vibrant, Michael Wildman’s collection of photographs provides a visceral viewing experience at the intimate Upright Gallery in Bruntsfield.

Curated from his adventures throughout South America, Wildman shines a spotlight on the continent’s various urban locales, often with a hint of human presence.

Whether it’s the silhouette of a man in a dimly lit station, a woman walking down a darkened street with birds flying overhead or a man sitting by a balcony alone, every subject appears to be in some form of quiet, lonely contemplation. This is especially apparent in his monochrome photography with the darkness surrounding the subject, only further enhancing this feeling of isolation. Even the more colourfully composed pieces retain this sense of solitude.

Mongui, Colombia, one of the pieces currently displayed at the Upright Gallery | © Michael Wildman

This was amplified by the intimacy of the venue itself. The small-scale design of the building makes you feel like you’re there with the person in frame, enabling an easier connection with them as individuals.

Wildman’s focus on the rundown, dilapidated streets of Chile and Colombia are another highlight of his work, providing a lens into the urban decay of these locations. Boarded up buildings, graffiti and discarded heirlooms are powerfully conveyed through his photography, producing emotional yet captivating imagery.

This presence can also be felt in some of the more personal pieces where even the most optimistic images contain a sense of wear and tear in the environment, making the location as much of a character as the person it shares a space with.

Whether it’s Chile or Colombia, deeply personal or purely environmental, Wildman proves himself as an exceptional photographer and a storyteller capable of conveying pure emotion in a stills image.

Gig Review: The Gil Scott Heron’s Songbook at the Edinburgh Jazz Weekend

Equal parts exhilarating and mesmerising, Sunday night at the St Brides Centre proved to be a fitting tribute to a great American jazz poet as well as a tremendous conclusion to a great weekend of Jazz.

Starring acclaimed guitarist and vocalist Aki Remally and piano maestro Fraser Urquhart, the duo paid tribute to Gil Scott Heron in the only way they know how: with a truly fantastical display of jazz pulling from the famed musician’s catalogue of music.

See More: The EN4News Music Podcast
See More: Gig Review: Lennon Stella at SWG3
See More: Film Review: ‘Greed’ ★★★
See More: Gallery Review: ‘Where I Stand’ by Michael Wildman

Remally is a tour de force both vocally and instrumentally. His skill is apparent when he can produce a smooth, silky ballad and switch at the drop of a hat to vocals filled with energy and passion. This vocal talent is only enhanced by his ability with a guitar, providing a harmonising medley of sound.

Urquhart also showcases his sheer skill as a musician throughout, either being a complementary and harmonious element or a dominant force, depending on what is required. A particular highlight of his talent was a fantastic drum solo near the end of the set; his aggressive yet elegant movements producing a performance equal parts mesmerising and intense.

Together, the two musicians complement each other perfectly, forming a must-see act worthy of both the songbook they paid tribute to as well as Scottish jazz fans’ attention.

Gig Review: Lennon Stella at the SWG3

Lennon Stella performing at SWG3 in Glasgow Credit: Erin Kirsop

Lennon Stella made her first appearance on Scottish soil at the intimate SWG3 in Glasgow, performing in her first solo European tour.

Lennon has come a long way since her days as a teenager on the American TV show Nashville. Against all odds, Lennon has chosen to step away from her country music roots, instead dipping into the indie-pop genre.

Performing songs off her debut album, as well as new songs yet to be released, the show was a fantastic mix of music. Despite being her first appearance in Glasgow, the fans were with her all the way, singing along with every lyric.

Her support act, JP Saxe, was also widely popular with the crowd both during his opening gig and when he joined Lennon on stage to sing their co-written song ‘Golf on TV’.

In just under two hours, Lennon played covers, as well as throwing original tracks throughout her discography into the mix, each proving to be an absolute delight.

With more songs in the making, I and the rest of her fans sit tightly for another tour announcement. Until next time, Lennon.

Film Review: ‘Greed’ ★★★

Direction: Michael Winterbottom
Screenplay: Michael Winterbottom
Cast: Steve Coogan, David Mitchell, Isla Fisher, Shirley Henderson
Length: 104 minutes
Rating: R

Actor Steve Coogan as Sir Michael McCreadie, the English Malcolm Tucker, in ‘Greed’ | © Channel Four Television Corporation 2020

Satire sowing the rise and fall of a high street fashion gladiator. Remind you of anyone?

Sir Richard McCreadie (Coogan) is a fashion magnate preparing to host his 60th birthday on the Greek island of Mykonos, complete with Gladiator style dress robes, wooden colosseum and lions (no, really). He is a disrespectful monster, humiliating his subordinates and superiors alike, yet all the while being thoroughly entertaining. Any normal person would run for the hills but the problem is he is a billionaire, so people are willing to ignore his explosive verbal diarrhoea for reasons I actually can’t identify.

Why do people put up with such assault, I wonder? Nobody he abuses appears to be very well paid yet celebrities are falling over themselves to work with him. Is it the proximity to success or chance of career advancement? It can’t be the money as he doesn’t appear to be the sharing type.

Flashbacks of his childhood and education at a private school provide us with enough understanding of his development of a thick skin and abrasive attitude even if we don’t necessarily sympathise. From gambling with, or rather against, his fellow students at home to bartering with tuk-tuk drivers abroad, his undivided ambition to make money regardless of failure, which happened several times, warrants some form of admiration. His methods, however, are not warranted in any fashion, even when achieving success.

McCreadie exhibits all the grandiose characteristics of a mafia godfather rather than the oily boss of a clothing empire but that doesn’t mean his reign is any less bloody. His dressing up as a gladiator only adds to the deranged emperor image he wants to dissipate. Despite a fire claiming the lives of the exploited workers (arguably slaves) in the supply factories that feed the low-cost fashion economy, he carries on taunting the refugees on the beach below his sprawling complex.

Steve Coogan is excellent as McCreadie, a man whose life is as artificial as his self-importance, as is Shirley Henderson who almost steals the show as Margaret McCreadie, Richard’s Irish megalomaniac mother. Wonder who he gets it from? Wonder no more.

David Mitchell is equally as good as McCreadie’s biographer whose interviews with those who encountered McCreadie at various points in his life serve as the backbone of ‘Greed’. We get a crash course in tax avoidance in the middle and the shocking facts of fast fashion at the end of the film.

Essentially, McCreadie is the English Malcolm Tucker. Although both are manipulative and enthralling, Tucker operates in the shadows while McCreadie exists in the spotlight. His charismatic but superficial public image, exploitation of low-paid foreign workers and corruption of financial accounts for personal gain scream of one individual in particular. His overconfidence merging into egomaniacal fantasy, sneering behaviour at a parliamentary inquiry and suggestions by those parliamentarians to remove his knighthood are a wealth of evidence to suggest McCreadie is based, at least in part, on one person.

It would have been more satisfying if the fallout from the twist in the tale and the publication of McCreadie’s biography were fleshed out more, however, neither of these would feature McCreadie prominently, only of the reaction of others, so their omission is somewhat understandable. As it stands, the denouement leaves more questions than answers and more complexity than certainty. Perhaps symbolic of the unpredictability of the emperor and his countless new clothes.

‘Greed’ is in cinemas now.

Film Review: ‘A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood’ ★★★★

Direction: Marielle Heller
Screenplay: Micah Fitzerman-Blue, Noah Harpster
Cast: Tom Hanks, Matthew Rhys, Chris Cooper, Christine Lahti
Length: 109 minutes
Rating: PG

Enchanting and surprising.  A golden adventure.

Using the 1998 Esquire article “Can You Say…Hero?” by Tom Junod as inspiration, this film follows witty yet cynical journalist Lloyd Vogel (Rhys), as he is tasked with writing a profile on television personality Fred Rogers (Hanks) and how this friendship will change the course of his life. For those unaware, Rogers was an American national treasure who presented the widely adored children’s series ‘Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood’ for over thirty years. Overjoyed reactions from Oprah Winfrey and Arsenio Hall to his mere presence says it all.

Much like the medium of television, Rogers’ life and work is an interesting conundrum of both authenticity and artificiality. While the miniature town and city sets and puppets on the programme are toys by design, the host and the home from which he presents are life-size, also by choice.

For a person of such purity, Rogers is not a character as Vogel presumes but also not a saint as Rogers’ wife points out. He has, and wants, to work at it. Rogers is a just a man who believes in recapturing the imagination of childhood in adulthood and delivering that message to each demographic on-screen and off. Vogel finds this genuineness difficult to believe, setting the stage for a meeting of opposing minds but eventually kindred spirits. This is the story of how that happens.

For his supporting performance as Fred Rogers, Tom Hanks received Oscar, BAFTA and Golden Globe nominations | © 2019 Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc. and Tencent Pictures (USA) LLC. All Rights Reserved

Originally filmed with live musicians at WQED Studios in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, ‘Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood’ has been wonderfully reenacted in standard definition picture format and aspect ratio to contrast the real world going on away from the camera lens. Much like the format of Rogers’ show, the film unfolds as a children’s story covering challenging adult themes, introduced and concluded by Hanks’ Rogers.

A film of this sweetness and delicacy necessitates that we suspend our disbelief and befriend our imagination once more. My advice is to watch with the soft embrace of Rogers and not the hard scepticism of Vogel, despite those qualities required of their respective work. Resistance is futile.

As it turns out, adults need Rogers as much as children do. As adults, we are trained to resist childish play, but playing brings us closer to our humanity. Playing as children was often the time when we were happiest and holding on to that ability to play may help us find fulfilment as adults. Rogers reminds us of this.

On the set of ‘Mr Rogers’ Neighborhood’ Matthew Rhys plays Lloyd Vogel, based on journalist Tom Junod who wrote Can You Say…”Hero?” after meeting Fred Rogers | © 2019 Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc. and Tencent Pictures (USA) LLC. All Rights Reserved

Similar to the end credits of ‘Saving Mr Banks’, where Hanks embodies Walt Disney, another American icon beloved by children, we are granted access to the original recordings of Rogers at work in archive footage of an episode of the children’s television programme. A nice touch. While Hanks played the supporting role in both films and shamefully wasn’t nominated for any major awards for ‘Saving Mr Banks’, after almost two decades he has received his sixth Oscar nomination for ‘A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood’. Another nice touch.

Both films dramatise the interactions between lesser-known writers and high-profile figures with the life of the former very much in the spotlight. With the scandalous exemption of an Oscar nomination, Emma Thompson’s dominating performance as Mary Poppins‘ author P. L. Travers in ‘Saving Mr Banks’ was the focus of most awards season attention however, this time, Matthew Rhys’ subtle turn as Esquire magazine journalist in ‘A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood’ has been largely overlooked. An overly crowded leading category race, perhaps? Who can say for sure?

At one moment, Hanks’ Rogers breaks the fourth wall. Not with a weapon of course, but by staring down the camera lens at the film’s audience just as he does to the audience of children on his television programme. At the end of one episode, he says: “I like you just the way you are.” We need to say these words out loud to ourselves more often than we do. Or at least have somebody like Rogers who can do it for us. Of that I can say for sure.

‘A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood’ is in cinemas now.
★★★★

Film Review: ‘The Lighthouse’ ★★★

Direction: Robert Eggers
Screenplay: Robert Eggers, Max Eggers
Cast: Willem Dafoe, Robert Pattinson
Length: 109 minutes
Rating: 15

Powerful suspense, hauntingly surreal.

Loosely inspired by an unfinished story from the father of horror himself – Edgar Allen Poe, Robert Egger’s The Lighthouse is a truly chilling journey that descends into madness.

Shot on black and white 35-millimeter film, The Lighthouse is something of a throwback to the works of Alfred Hitchcock, George A. Romero and other pioneers of horror-cinema.

The Lighthouse finds our leading men on an isolated island somewhere off the coast of New England, during the late 19th century. Ephraim Winslow (Robert Pattinson) takes a job as a ‘wickie’ (lighthouse-keeper) where he must serve a 4-week contract under the supervision of an elderly and poorly-tempered ex-seaman (Willem Dafoe).

What follows is a series of events that leaves both men questioning reality, their sanity and their relationship with each other.

The Lighthouse is, for the most part, very impressive. The isolated setting allows for a build-up of tension that will leave you squirming in your seat. This is complemented perfectly by the gloomy, black and white visual style.

The only issue with the film was the ending, which was left far too ambiguous. Audiences often appreciate filmmakers who can leave a little up to interpretation, but The Lighthouse relied too heavily on the watcher. Resulting in the ending being rather confusing and admittedly, a little disappointing.

The Lighthouse is in cinemas now.

★★★

Album Review: ‘Funeral’ by Lil Wayne

Returning to the limelight with his highly anticipated project ‘Funeral’, Lil Wayne may have secured another winner with his 13th studio album.

The New Orleans native first teased the album in 2016, before ceasing to reference it again until late 2019, when a coffin emoji appeared on his Instagram story. Now, just a week after its official announcement, ‘Funeral’ has landed.

The much anticipated ‘Funeral’ by Lil Wayne is out now. (Cover Art: Young Money Entertainment)

The album has been described by Wayne as a much different and more contemporary sound than its predecessor – 2018’s ‘Tha Carter V’.

The title track, backed by a symphony of string instruments that trips into a soft bass and snare, is a raw, emotionally-fuelled opening to the album. ‘Mahogany’ follows, which is a quick switch in tempo. Throughout a breathless delivery, Wayne is flawless over the trippy, hazed-out vocals that make up the instrumental.

Mixing sounds and moving with the times has never been an issue for Wayne. At least one successful album released in one of the last four decades proves the evergreen qualities that Wayne sports as an artist.

The third and fourth track are representative of this. Whilst ‘Mama Mia’ contains lyrics and a dark, metallic backing track that wouldn’t sound out of place in a SoundCloud rapper’s discography. ‘I Do It’ reminds one of a Gunna or Young Thug track. Containing the first features of the album, ‘I Do It’ features veteran Big Sean, who croons through the choruses, and Lil Baby, who provides a short, but sweet verse.

What follows are three tracks in succession, which differ tremendously in style, and flex Wayne’s various artistic capabilities. ‘Dreams’ is loud, aggressive and almost unhappy, whilst ‘Stop Playing With Me’ is a confident, fast-paced assurance of Wayne’s position in the hip-hop community, and his coolness on the mic. ‘Clap For Em’ contains another bass-heavy instrumental that feels very Latin-inspired with a sound that you’d expect to hear in a nightclub.

Jay Rock makes an appearance on ‘Bing James’, a track that for the most part, reminds one of something that Chief Keef or Lil Gnar may produce, in its autotuned, aggressive tones.

If ‘Bing James’ is the high, ‘Not Me’ is the comedown that follows, as it layers the listener’s ears with a sad, melancholic sound.

Adam Levine appears on ‘Trust Nobody’ – not a name you’d associate with Lil Wayne. As predicted, this track is a lot calmer, and more family-friendly, even containing a couple verses from bedtime prayer ‘Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep’.

The next four tracks are fairly strong, but not the most memorable from the album. 2 Chainz and Takeoff appear across two songs, but honestly, don’t really provide anything other than what you’d expect from them. ‘I Don’t Sleep’ is probably the better of the four, with a light-hearted instrumental, and a bouncy, fun delivery from Wayne.

Three features appear on the following four tracks – The-Dream, Lil Twist and the late XXXTENTACION. ‘Sights and Silencers’ is admittedly nothing spectacular, and whilst Lil Twist is a welcome introduction in ‘Ball Hard’, it’s ‘Get Outta My Head’ which piques interest. Lil Wayne compliments XXXTENTACION well on the track, which is actually a rework of ‘The Boy With The Black Eyes’ – a track that the latter originally recorded in 2016.

‘Piano Trap’ is a triumphant-sounding celebration of Wayne’s success, whilst ‘Line Em Up’ reintroduces the snares and rapid backing track we had a glimpse of earlier in the album. ‘Darkside’ is unfortunately fairly forgettable, but ‘Never Mind’, whilst not Wayne’s best track by any means, sticks to the new sound that he was trying to go for, and feels like it has a lot of replay value.

O.T. Genasis appears on the penultimate track ‘T.O.’, which is a wild journey from start to finish. An instrumental that feels wacky and all-over-the-place works its way behind a delivery from Wayne and O.T. that deals mostly in the ‘triplet flow’ that Migos popularised.

The final track on this album, ‘Wayne’s World’, is a good finish to an album that starts sombre and gradually works its way up. ‘Funeral’ was Wayne at the morgue, but ‘Wayne’s World’ is him sealing his resurrection and celebrating his return.

All in all, ‘Funeral’ is a strong album. Whilst it’s not Wayne’s best work to date, it certainly lives up to his promise of a more contemporary sound. Although he’s been on the scene since 1999, Wayne has been one of the quickest of the ‘old guard’ to adopt and work with this new sound that has developed in the 2010s.

The album is sombre and woeful at points, angry and in-your-face at others, and proud and dominant at others. Admittedly, there are tracks you may completely forget about post-album, but all things in consideration, Wayne has kicked off this new decade in an undoubtedly positive fashion.

4/5 STARS

Film Review: ‘1917’ ★★★★★

A war drama of extraordinary technical and emotional achievement.

Often the simplest plots are the best for epic staging. Two young British soldiers, Lance (George MacKay) and Tom (Dean-Charles Chapman) have been charged by General Erinmore (Colin Firth) with preventing the planned attack by the 2nd Battalion of Devonshire Regiment who mistakenly believe the Germans are in full retreat but are actually tactically withdrawing. With field telephone lines cut, they must deliver the message by hand to save the lives of 1,600 men before the attack the following day.

A treacherous descent into destruction develops as the protagonists move cautiously through a maze of death. Like the soldiers, we’re held in a ubiquitous state of tension, by both the leading characters’ progress and the cerebral writhing of Thomas Newman’s score.

With each challenge Schofield and Blake surpass, the further they journey from relative safety adding to the sense of foreboding. Louder and softer the music groans, evoking the sound of far off shelling, and the image that while all is quiet here and now, it is only temporary as battles are raging somewhere and death is never far away.

Lance Corporals Will Schofield (MacKay) and Tom Blake (Chapman) make their way through the barbed wire of No Man’s Land in ‘1917’ | © 2020 Universal Pictures

Step by step, the characters walk the story through dangerously cramped trenches, hazardous underground tunnels and battle-scarred farmland. Completely isolated, in fear of their lives and only each other for survival, Schofield and Blake still press on. One wrong move could be their last. Just one story of true heroism representative of so many that fought, died and survived an unimaginable existence. The tragedy of war is inescapable. But life goes on.

An entire world has been created in ‘1917’. What unfolds before us is a miraculous combination of forensic planning in screenwriting and production. And the meticulous precision of acting and directing in order to execute what is essentially a cinematic play staged on location in real time but that never feels staged for effect. One-shot filming requires a faultless performance from cast and crew and all should be commended for the distinctive qualities this gives the film.

Schofield (MacKay) hauls himself out of a river of bodies to deliver a message that will spare 1,600 lives | © 2020 Universal Pictures

Violent sequences alternate with moments of great beauty. Death and life intertwine. Crossing the broken bridge, escaping the bombed town and running through open battle are all stand-out set-pieces. While Mark Strong, Andrew Scott and Benedict Cumberbatch add gravitas to pivotal moments, Claire Duburcq and Richard Madden provide sensitive relief. And then there’s George MacKay. Despite enduring such mental and physical extremities that are truly unbelievable in order to make this film as great as it is, he has infuriatingly been left out of the Best Actor categories this awards season. Thankfully, the film as a whole has not.

Winner of two Golden Globes (Best Director and Motion Picture – Drama) from three nominations, ‘1917’ has also been nominated for nine BAFTAs, including Best Film, and ten Oscars, including Best Picture. While Sam Mendes won Best Director at the Critics’ Choice Awards (in a tie with Bong Joon-Ho for ‘Parasite’), one of its three wins from eight nominations, ‘Once Upon A Time In… Hollywood’ won Best Picture.

An almighty gamble has paid off and the one-shot wonder of ‘1917’ should be handsomely rewarded as an iconic cinematic accomplishment alone. It deserves to be experienced on the big screen and will stay with you long after you leave the cinema. As the lone tree stands tall at the denouement of the film, so can the filmmakers.

‘1917’ is in cinemas now.
★★★★★

 

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