Kenneth Branagh

Christopher Nolan puts audiences in the middle of WWII in the intimate and epic 'Dunkirk'

Christopher Nolan puts audiences in the middle of WWII in the intimate and epic 'Dunkirk'

Very much like the pivotal historical event it celebrates, "Dunkirk" confounds expectations. Both intimate and epic, as emotional as it is tension-filled, it is being ballyhooed as a departure for bravura filmmaker Christopher Nolan, but in truth the reason it succeeds so masterfully is that it is anything but.

What happened at the French coastal town of Dunkirk between May 26 and June 4, 1940, was perhaps World War II's unlikeliest turnaround, as a complete military fiasco transmogrified into a stirring psychological victory capped by Winston Churchill's stirring "we shall fight on the beaches" speech.

This battle has fascinated writer-director Nolan for...

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