If the social media reaction coming out of the first round of screenings for “1917” is any indication, Sam Mendes has made a World War I film for the ages.
While full reviews won’t hit the internet until Monday afternoon, attendees of press screenings in Los Angeles and New York were free to post their thoughts on Universal’s upcoming epic. Featuring the cinematography of “Blade Runner 2049” Oscar winner Roger Deakins, “1917” follows two British soldiers tasked to save their fellow men from an ambush in a race against time.
Universal has heavily promoted Mendes and Deakins’ choice to film the entire movie as if it was one continuous take, similar to Alejandro Inarritu and Emmanuel Lubezki’s work on “Birdman.”
“From the second ‘1917’ starts to the final frame, it’s a total immersion into another time and place and it’s just a stunning movie on every level,” Collider Editor-in-Chief Steven Weintraub wrote. “Another 2019 film that absolutely blew me away. See this on the biggest screen you can.”
Podcaster Matt Neglia called the film “THE technical achievement of 2019.”
“We’re with these men through every footstep & it’s unlike any war film you’ve ever seen before,” he wrote. “Epic & tense direction by Sam Mendes, emotional & exhilarating music from Thomas Newman & an all timer from cinematographer Roger Deakins.”
“I was skeptical of the ‘one continuous shot’ aspect,” UPROXX critic Mike Ryan wrote. “Worried it would get too cute with it, but it really works for this story, putting us right there in this hell.”
“1917” will be released in select cities on Christmas Day with a wide release set for Jan. 10. See more reactions below.
#1917Movie: an immersive, propulsive, gripping experience that surpasses the continuous shot “gimmick” which augments the narrative’s unrelating nature. Mounting action keeps character development in forefront. Deakins & Newman’s work unparalleled. Best war film in decades. pic.twitter.com/H3gwpqslmS
— Courtney Howard (@Lulamaybelle) November 24, 2019
Entering awards season in late November is not something easily done yet 1917 just placed itself as a film that's not just a contender, but truly jumps ahead in the race. Production design & cinematography are flawless. Performances are A+. Bravo Sam Mendes. #1917Movie
— Yolanda Machado (@SassyMamainLA) November 24, 2019
1917 is not for the faint of heart. An unforgettable anxiety-inducing cinematic roller-coaster ride. Sam Mendes & Roger Deakins have outdone themselves. A truly unique war film that puts the viewer into the war & on the front lines. A must-see on the big screen. #1917Movie pic.twitter.com/HpIG2LOKrL
— Scott Menzel (@TheOtherScottM) November 24, 2019
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. pic.twitter.com/H4sIizPUxP
— Scott Feinberg (@ScottFeinberg) November 24, 2019
The cinematography for @1917 is simply extraordinary. Deakins man! Deakins. Exceptional. 1917 has exploded into the Oscar race.
— Jazz Tangcay (@jazzt) November 24, 2019