‘1917’: Sam Mendes’ Anti-War Movie Is More Than a One-Shot Technical Feat

After directing back-to-back Bond films “Skyfall” and “Spectre,” Sam Mendes’ agent told him, “Get off your ass and write something yourself!” And so he did, recruiting Krysty Wilson-Cairns out of his “Penny Dreadful” writing room.

First they adapted Gay Talese’s “The Voyeur’s Motel,” which fell apart over rights and truthfulness issues; a second aborted project followed.The third time was the charm with “1917,” a project that Mendes could control start to finish.

As soon as Steven Spielberg read the script, DreamWorks was on board; Spielberg also backed Mendes’ directorial debut, “American Beauty,” which won five Oscars including Best Picture and Director.

If “1917” were to repeat that feat 20 years later, it would be the first time in Oscar history.While there’s no question “1917” will rack up technical nods and a likely win for cinematographer Roger Deakins, the movie rests on its anti-war script and empathetic performances, especially rising British actor George MacKay,

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