Tuesday, August 1, 2017

About That Movie "Dunkirk"-- Part 3: A Suspense Thriller

For the most part, World War II movies have fallen out of favor in Hollywood as the period recedes into the distant past.  In recent years, only one movie dealing realistically with the war, 2014's "Unbroken," has grossed more than $100 million domestically and it had a best-selling book tie-in.

But as Christopher Nolan sees it, "Dunkirk" is not a war movie per se but rather a kind of Hitchcockian suspense thriller.  His goal is to create a white-knuckle ride that puts the viewer into the shoes of the soldiers fighting for survival.   I'd say he succeeded in this.  I was worn out when I left the theater and all I did was sit there eating popcorn.

Nolan says the initial seed for "Dunkirk" came about twenty years ago when he and his wife on a sailing excursion with a friend went across the English Channel, retracing the route of the British civilian vessels to rescue the trapped soldiers at Dunkirk.


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