Dunkirk ★★★★★


YES. This is everything I was hoping for. This is Nolan at his most stripped back and experimental since Memento - yet with a steady confident hand of a far more experienced filmmaker than back then, that guides the GA through this unconventional yet somehow accessible story.

Keeps the tension and intensity going throughout - incredible pacing and flow. It did not feel short at all, yet the time just flew by. Visually - beautiful, the 70mm print lent this old-school quality (and cooler qauality too compared to the warmer-toned trailers/digital footage) but too many moments where I regret not waiting to see it IMAX 70mm first. The 2.20 framing works very well here, it's just it will work even better and even play differently overall in full 1.43.

Zimmer's score is so different (can't imagine what it'll be like on the album as it very much works best in context, like Johannsson's Arrival score but not as bad thinking about outside context) but absolutely excellent.

The ONLY weak link, as Nolan warned previously, are the characters. While the performances are very good - they are all just a piece of that overall puzzle/experience. The characters aren't there for more than Nolan requires them to. There are no backstories. You just have to connect with them in the moment - or just think about the collective struggle. It's not a character-focused movie. In fact you can say that - the visuals are one character, the characters overall are another, then the score, then the action, then the three tryptich sections....

Overall though when these pieces come together - so much greater than just the sum of these parts and results in an experience above anything else this year so far. Like I said - CANNOT wait for round 2 in 70mm IMAX film next Friday. Awesome that I have a week to let all this settle in....


P.S. note on the IMAX Prologue - very interesting to compare. Like 15 mins in the sequence of scenes is identical but with different score and slightly more relaxed pacing, but just forget it because it's essentially a trailer-ized version of that sequence I refer to with some shots lifted from later in the film.