JAMES Burgess is a 27-year-old performance, drama and theatre graduate. The former Fallibroome High School pupil has attended the BAFTA Film Awards in London every year since 2009, meeting stars including Dame Helen Mirren, Christian Bale, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Emma Thompson.
James lives on St. Ives Close in Macclesfield. You can visit his website at jabfilmreviews.blogspot. com. Dunkirk 12A, 106 mins, Warner Bros/Syncopy. Starring: Fionn Whitehead, Aneurin Barnard, Tom GlynnCarney, Tom Hardy, Jack Lowden, Sir Kenneth Branagh, Cillian Murphy, Harry Styles, Billy Howle, Sir Michael Caine, and Sir Mark Rylance. an epic scale; glossy, crisp, striking authenticity which is now the hallmark of his work – and instantly recognisable.
Even when he’s operating within the most elaborate narratological parameters, structure, tone, time and perspective are either foregrounded or subverted – without ever being overshadowed by the innovative techniques implemented.
In many ways, Dunkirk, is his most avuncular work: stripped-down, back-to-basics, viscerally intense, extremely immersive and authentic – his most conventional, risky, and both utterly subjective and objective, simultaneously – without ever losing that customary quality of being superbly mounted and staged.
As a writer, his polished screenplay remains as knowingly sparse and cut-to-the-quick as ever. Nolan’s stated intention was to make a suspenseful survival story – not a war film. Instead, Nolan frames a stunningly realised technical achievement of placing the audience on those fateful dunes, in the frenetic cockpit, or on a sinking ship – with land, air and sea each being represented through their increasingly tense time-lines to absolutely stunning effect.
All performances are excellent. Fionn Whitehead infuses integrity as the lead soldier, the much-hyped casting of a solid Harry Styles completes the trio; it’s Aneurin Barnard’s almost mute Gibson who really stands out. Barnard, has such a depth of soulful intensity of pathos in his eyes.
Tom Glynn-Carney is especially gripping as Peter, the eldest son of the unassuming Mr Dawson (subtly, exceptionally played by the king of humble humility in acting classicism: Mark Rylance).
Rylance may end up fighting it out with a precise Kenneth Branagh, or conflicted PTSD soldier Cillian Murphy for Supporting Actor accolades. As should Hoyte Van Hoytema’s peerless cinematography.
Blistering aerial set-pieces, mean real spitfires fill the screen, with Tom Hardy’s pilot adding gravitas as always. This is all enhanced tenfold, by Hans Zimmer’s inimitably propulsive, perpetual thrum of score; ratcheting up the tension even further.
Fantastic, extremely slickly assured, profoundly emotionally prescient – a leviathan piece of bravura film-making.
A scene from Dunkirk