“We shall go until the end. We shall never surrender,” opens the first full trailer for Christopher Nolan‘s World War II thriller “Dunkirk,” which opens July 21. Nolan is best known for his sci-fi and fantasy films, including “The Dark Knight” and “Interstellar.” He has been nominated for three Oscars (for writing “Memento” and for writing and producing “Inception”), but he has yet to prevail. Will this be his key to entering the winner’s circle? Watch the trailer above.
From the looks of it, “Dunkirk” has all the makings of an Oscar movie. It tells a heroic true story about World War II. It’s broad in scope, has grand visuals, and boasts a cast of prestigious actors including Oscar winner Mark Rylance and Oscar nominees Kenneth Branagh and Tom Hardy, along with Cillian Murphy and James D’Arcy. And Nolan has a big Oscar IOU: not only has he never won, he’s never even been nominated for directing despite the acclaim and technical difficulty of his films. That’s especially true of “The Dark Knight,” whose Oscar snub for Best Picture in 2008 was widely seen as a motivating factor in the academy’s expansion of its top category to 10 nominees. A couple of years later the academy amended its rules again to create a sliding scale between 5 and 10 nominees, and ever since there have been either eight or nine nominees for Best Picture each year.
“Dunkirk” tells the story of the desperate mission to rescue Allied soldiers from the northern shore of France, where they were surrounded by the German army. This isn’t the first Oscar contender to depict that rescue. Joe Wright‘s “Atonement” (2007) was famous for a five-minute tracking shot on the beach as the downtrodden soldiers awaited rescue. That film was nominated for seven Oscars, including Best Picture.
What do you think of the “Dunkirk” trailer? Watch it above and let us know whether you think it will be an Oscar contender in our poll below.