Christopher Nolan’s ‘Dunkirk’ is easily one of 2017’s most hotly-anticipated films and finally the day of its UK cinema debut is almost here.
It stars Tom Hardy, Sir Kenneth Branagh, Sir Mark Rylance and Cillian Murphy alongside a host of breakthrough actors - yes, including Harry Styles - and tells the true story of the World War II evacuation, which saw over 330,000 British soldiers rescued from the beaches in 1940.
So… is it any good? In short: Yes. But we’re not here to spoil it for you.
Before booking tickets, check out our list of 11 things we can reveal - without totally ruining the plot...
1. Harry Styles doesn’t stand out (in the best way possible). A lot of fuss has been made ahead of the former One Direction star’s feature film debut and we can confirm that he doesn’t disappoint. The cast can pretty much be divided into two groups - Hollywood heavyweights and relative newcomers - and of the latter, Harry has a sizeable amount of work to do. Film fans who were worried that it might be jarring to see the camera pan across to a 1D star among the soldiers on the beach can rest assured, Harry fits right in with his co-stars.
2. Where do you know Aneurin Barnard, who plays Gibson, from? The actor previously played Bobby in ITV’s miniseries about the life of Cilla Black.
3. The cast are hoping that the 12A rating will mean younger audiences can see the film and learn about the story of ‘Dunkirk’. Newcomer Barry Keoghan, who plays George, told HuffPost UK: “They’re [audiences] going to go away and maybe look up Dunkirk and and hopefully appreciate the bravery and courage, the legends.”
4. In his previous films ‘Inception’ and ‘Interstellar’, Nolan’s focus on time and space drove his stories forward. In ‘Dunkirk’, he uses non-chronological storytelling to heighten the intensity of the story being told.
5. A number of the characters have no names, including Cillian Murphy’s “Shivering Soldier”. With barely any dialogue and no moniker to go by, the audience have nothing to focus on but the obvious shellshock and trauma the soldier has suffered.
6. Without giving too much away, Sir Mark Rylance plays a civilian who sails to Dunkirk to help with the rescue effort and has every right to be proud of his character’s story. The actor previously told HuffPost UK that it “was just an honour to be connected with those brave people who did these things”.
7. We’re glad it the film is no longer than two hours. Trust us when we say: It is intense. Nolan previously addressed Dunkirk’s relative brevity, stating: ”You can only sustain the degree of suspense and tension that we wanted from the film for so long before you exhaust the audience.” Obviously, he is correct. It’s harrowing, suspenseful and, at times, almost overwhelming - three hours would have been basically soul-destroying.
8. On that note: The soundtrack. Nolan has once again enlisted Oscar-winner Hans Zimmer to create the score, which at time becomes a bigger character than the soldiers on screen. Nolan recorded the sound of his own pocket watch ticking and sent it to the composer, who integrated it into the score.
9. To ensure historical accuracy, Nolan enlisted Joshua Levine, author of the book ‘Forgotten Voices Of Dunkirk’ to act as a consultant.
10. Fionn Whitehead’s star turn as British Army private Tommy sees him take the lead and it won’t be long before you see his name in lights again, thanks to ‘The Children Act’, in which he stars alongside Emma Thompson and Stanley Tucci.
11. You need to see it at an IMAX cinema. We’re not usually sticklers for rules but in this case, trust us when we say Warner Bros are right to have every confidence that the 70mm screenings will pull in huge audiences.
‘Dunkirk’ is in UK cinemas from Friday 21 July.