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Topic: Benediction
Posted by: Susan Kelly
Date/Time: 25/05/22 21:25:00

I suppose you'd have to call this a biopic about Siegfried Sassoon although it isn't a typical biopic. We start in familiar territory as Sassoon publicly calls out the Establishment on the way WW1 is being conducted, resulting in threats of Court Martial and a possible firing squad. He has influential friends, though, and rather to his annoyance, is deemed to have suffered a breakdown and sent to Craiglockhart and the nice Dr Rivers whom we know from Pat Barker's novels. There he meets Wilfred Owen ('Grammar school accent'!). The two become friends and sweethearts but Owen is sent back to the front and his death.

Then we encounter post-war London and the Bright Young Things with their tiresomely glib and flip conversation. Sassoon has his heart broken by the caddish Ivor Novello. After a number of more or less unsatisfactory love affairs he decides to marry Hester who is well aware that he is gay.

We get flash forwards to his older age, where he is played by Peter Capaldi sporting a rather odd accent/voice. He seems like a completely different person. The marriage hasn't been happy, he doesn't get on with his son, he's cross about not getting a knighthood and converting to Catholicism.

I have mixed feelings about this film. It's too long, the Bright Young Things are just annoying and there's a lot of slightly comical name-dropping ('Have you met T E Lawrence?'). There is good real footage of WW1, though, often with Sassoon's and Owen's poetry voiced over them.

Worth seeing.


Entire Thread
TopicDate PostedPosted By
Film Reviews 202203/01/22 19:30:00 Joe Conneely
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      Re:Good Luck to you, Leo Grande28/06/22 15:15:00 Sara Nathan
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      Re:Hit the Road12/08/22 09:17:00 Adam Kimmel
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