With its showy camerawork, comforting heroism and nostalgia for a noble Britain, Sam Mendes’ film is anything but original
This year, 1917, the faux one-shot, first world war thriller directed by Sam Mendes, is tipped to join the club of worthy Anglo period drama the Academy likes to reward. This generation’s Chariots of Fire, say, or The English Patient. But its success hinges on a certain cultural amnesia which has not affected one of its chief rivals, Joker.
Unlike Joker 1917 has been relatively untainted by controversy: it is not a film accused of inciting incels. The other knock on Joker has been that it is Todd Phillips doing Scorsese karaoke, that it is a facsimile of other, better films. But the same is true of 1917.
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