Warner Bros. has released a nearly 30-minute behind-the-scenes featurette for Dunkirk online, offering a fantastic look at the making of writer/director Christopher Nolan’s ambitious World War II thriller. The film hit theaters last July and was released on Digital HD, Blu-ray, and DVD in December, so you may be asking yourself why is this online now? Well, it’s Oscar season folks, and in Oscar season anything goes.
Indeed, the film received eight Academy Awards nominations including Best Picture and Best Director, and given that it’s a pretty wide-open race at the moment, there’s certainly a chance that Dunkirk could go all the way. This lengthy featurette shows that Dunkirk is certainly deserving of a number of honors from the Oscars, as the craftsmanship on display is positively astounding. And the featurette itself is unsubtle as all get-out when it comes to championing Nolan for Best Director, the film for Best Picture, and a number of other areas in which the crafts could be recognized.
Nolan has a penchant for telling complex narratives, but he’s never attempted anything as ambitious as Dunkirk, which rests almost entirely on visuals to tell its story. There’s not a ton of dialogue, and even the dialogue that exists isn’t particularly “important.” No, with this film Nolan’s purpose was to put the viewer in the shoes of the men on the beach, in the sea, and in the sky during a crucial—and devastating—point during World War II.
He succeeds wildly, and I think Dunkirk is one of Nolan’s best films by a mile. The skill it takes to weave such a complex narrative, and evoke the tension, emotion, and thematic resonance that the film does using only the visual tools at his disposal is pretty remarkable. If you’re a fan of the film, this featurette offers some great insight with interviews with Nolan and his producing partner and wife Emma Thomas, as well as members of the cast.
Check out the behind-the-scenes Dunkirk featurette “The Dunkirk Spirit” below.