The Nolan movies on Netflix streaming are Memento, The Prestige and Following, which was Nolan's directorial film debut. The filmmaker, who has dealt with the space, superhero genre and deepest depths of imagination, has brought one of his passion projects to life which he had dreamt for the longest time. There are multiple theories on the rationale for the pause, but a popular theory is that Hitler was convinced by his air force's commander that aircraft would be more effective military on the ground.
DUNKIRK is set in the era of 1940s during World War II.
In the spring of 1940, about 400,000 soldiers - mostly British - find themselves on the beaches of Dunkirk in northern France.
Nolan tells three separate stories in the film - one of the land, one of the sea and one of air.
That story is not well known in the USA, in part because the heroics belonged exclusively to our allies, and also because no one has tried to tell it through an appropriately epic-scale Hollywood film. There's Tom Hardy, Mark Rylance, Harry Styles, Cillian Murphy and on and on.
"The Dunkirk Spirit" is a phrase known to British citizens of all backgrounds and a source of pride for many. Lead Fionn Whitehead (whose only previous credit is the British miniseries HIM) is the closest to "main" character, as a young British soldier who combines obvious youth with a quickly seasoned need to survive. This year has not exactly been one in which Hollywood has given their best effort.
Above, British pilots (Tom Hardy and Jack Lowden) are involved in a dogfight with German planes in attempt to protect the ships as well as the soldiers on the beach. A second story involves Mark Rylance, playing a civilian captain.
Visually, DUNKIRK is spectacular. It is astoundingly heavy and tiring because of its experiential approach.
Nolan said his film is not meant to glorify war, even going so far as to point out the parallels he sees between the historic evacuation at Dunkirk and the refugee crisis unfolding across Europe today. In place of spoken words, the film relies on the actor's facial expressions and body language to really sell the film and their characters journeys.
Oddly all the characters in the film seem too calm, infused with unimaginable poetic hopefulness. The music was composed by Hans Zimmer.
Having stellar technical aspects turns out to be more of a necessity than Nolan might have imagined. He has handsome connected the dots and intercuts between the three narratives of the Operation Dynamo which makes it a powerful film. And so I came away from that experience with a very different respect for the people who actually did [the Dunkirk evacuation.] It's unthinkably fearless.