When is movie 1917 released in cinemas? What’s it about?

The World War I epic comes from Skyfall director Sam Mendes

Benedict Cumberbatch in 1917

Picking up the baton from Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk, another high profile film is about to take audiences to the front lines of a global conflict.

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1917 is the latest film from Sam Mendes – director of 007: Skyfall and American Beauty – which follows two soldiers on a high stakes mission to save lives during World War I.

Here’s everything you need to know about 1917…

When is 1917 released in UK cinemas?

1917 will be showing in UK cinemas from Friday 10th January 2020.

What is 1917 about?

1917 follows two young British soldiers, Schofield and Blake, tasked with travelling through enemy territory in order to deliver a message to a battalion of troops, warning them of an ambush. If they fail, up to 1,600 lives could be lost, including that of Blake’s own brother.

The movie has been edited to appear as if filmed in one fluid continuing take, which has been hailed by critics for adding to its gripping visceral tension.

Who is in the cast of 1917?

The two leads are George MacKay and Dean-Charles Chapman who play Schofield and Blake respectively. Neither are household names just yet, although MacKay has appeared in several acclaimed independent films such as Pride and Captain Fantastic, while Chapman played the role of Tommen Baratheon in Game of Thrones.

A number of established actors take supporting roles in the film as various military figures, including Colin Firth (Mary Poppins Returns), Andrew Scott (Fleabag), Mark Strong (Shazam), Richard Madden (Rocketman) and Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock).

Is 1917 a true story?

LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 08: Sam Mendes attends The Olivier Awards with Mastercard at Royal Albert Hall on April 8, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Jeff Spicer/Getty Images)
1917 director Sam Mendes

According to director and co-writer Sam Mendes, the plot of the film is inspired by stories he was told as a child by his grandfather, Alfred.

Mendes told The Sun: “It’s the story of a messenger, which lodged with me as a child. Obviously I’ve enlarged it significantly but it has that at its core.”

Alfred ran messages for the British for two days near Ypres, Belgium, and also gave Sam detailed accounts of the Battle of Poelcappelle fought in Flanders.

Therefore, while the film is not a direct adaptation of any one true story in particular, it is based on real accounts of life on the front lines during the conflict.

Will 1917 get Oscar nominations?

The nominations for this year’s Academy Awards are yet to be announced, but 1917 has been screened in advance for voters who gave it a very warm reception.

This has placed it as a front runner in the awards race going forward, particularly in the categories of direction (Mendes), original score (Thomas Newman), and cinematography (Roger Deakins).

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The Academy Award nominations will be announced on Monday 13th January 2020.