Christopher Nolan is one of our most innovative directors. He’s taken a basic crime thriller and turned it into a twisty, turning masterpiece in Memento. He’s taken a heist thriller and turned it into a dreamscape cornucopia in Inception. He’s taken the sci-fi genre and actually based it on science in the coolest way he could with Interstellar. And he’s taken the superhero genre and turned it into a metaphor for the 21st century with The Dark Knight Trilogy. Now, when it seems he’s playing it safest of all-the war epic-it seems Nolan is destined to surprise us yet again, with Dunkirk.
In 1940, the Allied forces realized that Germany’s forces were better equipped than they realized. The group of British, Belgian and French forces found themselves pushed back to the beaches of Dunkirk, surrounded by the Germans, and ready to be picked off one by one. Due to quick thinking and the bravery of British and French civilians, the team undertook Operation Dynamo, and from May 26 to June 4, pulled off one of the largest evacuation efforts of all time.
Look, everything you’d expect from this type of film is there. Gorgeous cinematography, tense sound mixing, and breathtaking direction. What’s interesting, however, is the way the trailer teases how large scale of an epic this is. Yes, it seems to focus on the soldiers on the ground, played by newcomers like Fionn Whitehead, Aneurin Barnard, Jack Lowden, and, um, Harry Styles. But there’s also smaller appearances by some major names, giving this the well-rounded ensemble feel of an epic, like The Longest Day, Saving Private Ryan and so on, including Kenneth Branagh as a commanding officer, Mark Rylance as a boat captain, and Tom Hardy as an RAF pilot. Cillian Murphy will also pop up somewhere, as he does in all Nolan films. You can color me excited for this, one of my most anticipated films of 2017, and I will be there opening night to see it all play out in beautiful IMAX. Dunkirk will be released on July 21st, 2017. You can watch the trailer below.