The Valero Verdict: 1917

Welcome to another edition of the “The Valero Verdict” movie review. In this I will give you a quick movie review with a couple of bullet points of which I either liked or disliked. I will end the review with rating of the movie and a short overall thoughts.

On the docket today, one of the most anticipated movies of the award season, 1917.

Plot: Two young British privates during the First World War are given an impossible mission: deliver a message deep in enemy territory that will stop 1,600 men, and one of the soldier’s brothers, from walking straight into a deadly trap.

The Good:

Sam Mendes: The artistic approach of the film being shot and edited to appear as single long take that appears in real time was a heck of a risk to take and boy did it pay off.

From the moment the film started until the closing credits, I don’t think I breathed at all. He made sure that you were in this war, in this chase with these two men and you wanted nothing more than to be a part of this journey with them.

Mendes he just made me feel things I have never felt while watching a movie. A few scenes he ripped my heart in two.

One being the scene with Schofield and the truck (not going in depth for spoiler purposes). The intensity and the heart shown in this scene will be something that will live with me forever. I felt that pain, I felt that hurt, I felt that pressure to push through to get to the other side and I am literally getting emotional thinking about it while I am typing this. It was one of the most powerful scenes I have ever felt in my life.

The second was the one you see in the trailer with Schofield running. The urgency of this scene is massive, you need him to get to his destination and as every step happens, you are left on the edge of your seat. The way Mendes made the shot wide as he was running was beautiful. I just wanted to jump onto the battle field and carry this man to where he needed to go.

Mendes ability to make you WANT to get in the middle of a war and be a part of this beautifully intense journey was an experience of a lifetime.

George MacKay: This movie doesn’t work without MacKay and his performance as Schofield. This film is him and MacKay ability to not just act but to make you care so much (see above) about his character and where he ends up is all on him.

The Best Actor race in my mind was made up prior to seeing this (Phoenix, Driver, De Niro, DiCaprio & Murphy) but hello Mr. MacKay, he not only threw his name in the hat but he gave one of my favorite performances of the year.

His performance was similar to Leonardo DiCaprio’s in The Revenant. Throughout the film you have moments which there isn’t a lot of dialogue and MacKay’s emotions and his demeanor carry you through those scenes. The psychical demand of this role is something we should not take lightly. Not only was the weight of the task on his shoulders but the environment and his surroundings were as well.

Thomas Newman: Can we talk about how amazing this score was? It’s easily my 2nd favorite of the year (sorry Hildur has my heart). The score carried this film in a variety of sequences throughout the movie especially the scenes where you had very little to no dialogue. The way you were able to be captivated by what you saw on the screen with just the sounds of the score was breathtaking.

Roger Deakins: The Oscars have their hands full with all the talented Cinematographers that have share some beautiful shots with us this year. Deakins easily threw his name into the hat with the stunning cinematography in this film. Deakins has been nominated 14 times (winning once) and I am rather certain that he can make room on his shelves for his 2nd win after this award season.

Favorite Line: “Even their rates our bigger than ours”

Oscars Predictions: EVERYTHING!!!!! This will more than likely be the most nominated film of the year.

The Verdict:

***** out of ***** gavels

This was an emotional roller coaster of a film. One of which 5, 10, 15 years from now will be used to show film students, to historians, to film lovers that didn’t get to witness this in person.

I laughed. I cried. I was scared. I was happy. I couldn’t breath.

This is cinema. This movie is why I love film.

Should You See It?: Absolutely. I recommend finding the biggest screen you can find and seeing it on that. I saw it on RPX and thankful I did, the sounds just rock you to your core.

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