Dunkirk

Director Christopher Nolan's penchant for the unorthodox ensures that his films will be challenging, if not always totally satisfying viewing. In Dunkirk, Nolan, who is best known for the Batman trilogy that starred Christian Bale, explores the fluidity of time and perspective in his telling of the valor that went into the Dunkirk beach evacuation during World War II. To me, the genius of this surprisingly compelling battle tale is the crafty way Nolan telescopes time and ratchets up the intensity while blending and overlapping viewpoints and locales. Some might argue that the möbius narrative is too clever and a bit distracting. I loved the approach and found each of the primary performances -- especially the young, gritty soldier played by Fionn Whitehead, with whom we spend most of the film -- perfectly pitched, intense without being grating, and sympathetic without being cloying.  Highly recommended.

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