Sam Mendes' 1917 is a surprise Oscar frontrunner with rave reviews

Chris Edwards
Photo credit: eOne
Photo credit: eOne

From Digital Spy

Sam Mendes' war epic 1917 has emerged as a surprise Oscar frontrunner after receiving rave reviews – but could it bump the likes of Joker or The Irishman out of the running?

Directed by Mendes (Skyfall, Spectre) and co-written by him and Krysty Wilson-Cairns, the film stars George MacKay and Dean-Charles Chapman as two young soldiers who are tasked with going behind enemy lines to deliver a message that could help save 1,600 men. Benedict Cumberbatch also stars as a military leader.

Photo credit: eOne
Photo credit: eOne

Like Alejandro González Iñárritu's Oscar-winning film Birdman, 1917 is filmed as one continuous shot by director of photography Roger Deakins, so you're never given a moment's rest from the drama.

And clearly, it's struck a chord with critics and those who have attended early screenings of the film.

The Hollywood Reporter's Scott Feinberg was clearly overwhelmed, as he tweeted: "Mendes' excellent 1917 joins the race: Almost unfathomable that cinematographer Deakins and production designer Gassner don't win second Oscars and composer Newman doesn't win Oscar #1. Pic, director, original screenplay noms almost certain, wins possible. Acting noms possible."

Photo credit: EOne
Photo credit: EOne

Describing it as an 'Oscar frontrunner', critic Clayton Davis wrote: "1917 is the best war film since SAVING PRIVATE RYAN. The cinematography of the year. The cinematography of the decade. Thomas Newman's orchestral masterpiece. Sam Mendes gift to cinema...and his family. Every ounce is powerful."

Meanwhile, Baby Driver and Hot Fuzz director Edgar Wright added: "1917 is a thrilling, immersive, emotional journey into the heart of war. It's exceptional on a technical level, yet frequently stunning in its simplicity. Sam Mendes & DP Roger Deakin (along with their crew) created a hypnotic cinema experience that is both riveting & moving."

Check out more of the early reactions below.

1917 will be released in the US on December 25, 2019, with a UK release following on January 10, 2020.

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