After thinking on it for twelve hours, I feel confident enough to say Dunkirk bored the bejesus out of me. It is also filmmaking at its finest, one of the extremely rare motion pictures that can, from the opening to closing frame, be called art.
There was a piece on The Guardian earlier this week, calling Dunkirk the first film in Christopher Nolan’s career to merit comparison to the filmography of Stanley Kubrick. While there were some making the same assessment three years ago when Insterstellar came out, pitting it against 2001: A Space Odyssey, I found it a premature judgement. I love Insterstellar, but it is far too emotional and weepy to be Kubrickian.
With Dunkirk, I was emotionally invested in none of the characters whatsoever; I admired the picture more than anything else. I recognize the great care and detail that went into every aspect of its making, and I applaud it. Was it a good time at the movies? Absolutely not. I even checked my clock once. Is this one of the best films I’ve seen this year? Absolutely yes.