The latest from British master Terence Davies (Distant Voices, Still Lives; The House of Mirth; The Deep Blue Sea) is a portrait of poet Siegfried Sassoon, a genius best known for his subversive response to the horrors of World War I. Achingly intimate, richly detailed, and visually sumptuous, the film moves between the writer’s rise to notoriety during the War, his years in the literary spotlight, and the period of his old age.
The elderly Sassoon is played by Peter Capaldi, and the younger incarnation by Jack Lowden; both actors give superb performances, and they’re matched by Ben Daniels, Jeremy Irvine, Kate Phillips, and many others in the first-rate cast. The real star, however, is the director himself: with his musical treatment of images and his sublime articulation of emotion, he delivers a tour de force of filmmaking. Taking us from the horrors of combat to the vicissitudes of gay romance to the sadness of youth recalled from a distance, Davies depicts Sassoon’s life with the grace of a maestro and the sympathy of a fellow troubled soul.
Achingly beautiful… a movie of acute sadness and intense pleasure.
Justin Chang, LA Times
Davies proves that the internal life of the mind can indeed be explored and portrayed in a visual medium. With every scene a stanza, Benediction is a lyrical triumph.
Alonso Duralde, The Wrap
Jack Lowden, Peter Capaldi, Gemma Jones, Ben Daniels, Kate Phillips, Simon Russell Beale, Jeremy Irvine, Geraldine James
Jury Prize for Best Screenplay, San Sebastian 2021
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First Look Fridays: $10 Tickets
Seniors and friends enjoy $10 tickets + complimentary tea & coffee at this film’s first Friday matinee screening.
Paul Ashton, Margarethe Baillou, Norman Merry, Lizzie Francke, Rose Garnett, Jim Mooney, John Taylor, Walli Ullah, Jack Lowden, Peter Hampden