Benediction

"Terence Davies’ latest is an equally sombre and sumptuous portrait of 20th-century English poet and soldier Siegfried Sassoon."- TIFF

Written and directed by acclaimed filmmaker Terence Davies, Benediction explores the turbulent life of WWI poet Siegfried Sassoon (Jack Lowden). The writer and soldier was a complex man who survived the horrors of fighting in the First World War and was decorated for his bravery but who became a vocal critic of the government's continuation of the war when he returned from service. His poetry was inspired by his experiences on the Western Front, and he became one of the leading war poets of the era. Adored by members of the aristocracy as well as stars of London's literary and stage world, he embarked on affairs with several men as he attempted to come to terms with his homosexuality. At the same time, broken by the horror of war, he made his life's journey a quest for salvation, trying to find it within the conformity of marriage and religion.


"Terence Davies's film is a rhapsodic portrayal of an upper-crust milieu in which words are wielded like weapons by people who might otherwise be pariahs." - Slant Magazine

"Benediction is a master class in cinematic craft. The performances, most especially those of Jack Lowden (TIFF ’17 selection Dunkirk) and Peter Capaldi as the younger and older Sassoon, respectively, are at once delicate and brimming with unruly emotion. Cinematographer Nicola Daley fills the screen with elegant camera choreography and chiaroscuro imagery while Davies seamlessly weaves archival materials into his narrative, incorporating a pair of astonishing moments when we see a youthful face age decades in seconds." - TIFF

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