Sam Mendes' anticipated new war movie 1917 was screened to US critics over the weekend, and ahead of reviews landing, it appears there may be a new awards front-runner in the offing.
And while early Twitter reactions don't always quite tally with reviews – recently seen in cases like Disney's The Mandalorian – things are looking immensely positive for Mendes' powerful tale, set on the battlefields of northern France.
Read more: First full trailer for Sam Mendes’ 1917
The movie stars Ophelia star George MacKay and Game of Thrones' Dean-Charles Chapman as two young recruits to the British Army tasked with delivering a message to a fellow battalion that they're about to walk into a deadly trap.
In a race against time, they have to cross enemy lines in order to save nearly 2000 men, one of which is the brother of Chapman's character, from certain death at a key moment in the First World War.
Teaming up once again with celebrated cinematographer Roger Deakins, who Mendes worked with on Bond movie Skyfall, Jarhead and Revolutionary Road, critics have been pretty breathless with praise.
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
Aaannnndddd that's your frontrunner!— Clayton Davis (@AwardsCircuit) November 23, 2019
'1917' is the best war film since SAVING PRIVATE RYAN. The cinematography of the year. The cinematography of the decade. Thomas Newman's orchestral masterpiece. Sam Mendes gift to cinema...and his family. Every ounce is powerful.#1917Movie pic.twitter.com/EiwCTthAX3
1917 = OUTSTANDING. A WWI-epic bursting w/ a depth of heart and emotion unprecedented in the genre. Stunning sequence after stunning sequence. Mckay's remarkable. So immersed you forget what's unraveling's done in 1-take. Viscerally audacious filmmaking to end 2019 on a high note— Jason (@jasonosia) November 23, 2019
1917 is quite a thing. Always intense, often horrific (at times it feels like watching an actual horror movie). I was skeptical of the “one continuous shot” aspect — worried it would get too cute with it — but it really works for this story, putting us right there in this hell— Mike Ryan (@mikeryan) November 23, 2019
1917 is THE technical achievement of 2019. We’re with these men through every footstep & it’s unlike any war film you’ve ever seen before. Epic & tense direction by Sam Mendes, emotional & exhilarating music from Thomas Newman & an all timer from cinematographer Roger Deakins. pic.twitter.com/L0C7hKxR6C— Matt Neglia (@NextBestPicture) November 23, 2019
1917 is a masterful study of suspense, artistry, and timing. I’m in awe of how Sam Mendes and Roger Deakins pulled it off. Definite nominations for picture, director, cinematography, and design. Possibly score and sound editing too. A major wow. pic.twitter.com/XXBjJRrgnN— Dave Karger (@davekarger) November 23, 2019
1917: AMAZING movie! Bravura filmmaking of the tallest order. Bold, daring, audacious, fully immersive. Moments of sublime beauty & total intensity. An Awards Season game-changer. Frontrunner for Best Pic, Director, Cinematography, Editing, Score, Costume Design, etc! #1917MOVIE pic.twitter.com/qfj20F99Ep— Scott Mantz (@MovieMantz) November 25, 2019
1917: I’ve never seen anything like it. A reminder that filmmaking is only 100 years old and there are new ways to tell old stories; despite existential dread, the medium grows and improves; Roger Deakins is god, etc.— Sean Fennessey (@SeanFennessey) November 25, 2019
Well, that’s all rather encouraging.
The movie, which also stars Kingsman's Mark Strong, Fleabag star Andrew Scott, Bodyguard's Richard Madden, Colin Firth, Benedict Cumberbatch and Daniel Mays, lands in the UK on January 10.
Check out the trailer below: