Taken into the heart of war
of the supporting cast – and maintains Nolan’s ability to surprise and turn even the most simple of tales into a nonlinear, brain-teasing thrill ride.
There’s no weak link in the sizeable cast, which includes frequent Nolan collaborators Tom Hardy (Farrier) and Cillian Murphy (shivering soldier) and another impressive, underplayed showing from Bridge of Spies’ Mark Rylance (Mr Dawson).
Big screen newcomer Fionn Whitehead (Tommy) and Dubliner Barry Keoghan (George) stand out among the less experienced members of the ensemble, perfectly exuding the haunted combination of fear and determination of young soldiers at war.
And ex-One Direction heartthrob Harry Styles (Alex) proves to be much more than just stunt casting designed to lure in teenybopper fans with a fine movie debut that suggests he may just have a future with this acting lark.
Nolan’s long-term go-to-composer Hans Zimmer delivers another searing score and Nolan’s camerawork goes from claustrophobic – on Dawson’s boat – to the expansive landscapes of the astonishingly realistic Spitfire-led aerial assaults and immersive beach evacuations.
The director takes no short-cuts when enveloping us in the full emotional impact of war and while riveting and mesmeric, it does leave you feeling that, like the cast, you have taken a bit of a battering.
But that is Christopher Nolan for you; a multiskilled craftsman who gifts us with true event cinema like very few others can.
Terror from above Allied soldiers face mortal danger