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1917 is a war film from English director Sam Mendes. Mendes is known for directing the recent "James Bond" films Spectre and Skyfall, as well as the Best Picture-winning drama American Beauty.

1917 follows two young British soldiers who are tasked with delivering a critical message to a nearby battalion: An upcoming attack is to be called off, as it is doomed to fail. If they are unable to deliver the message in time, the battalion will launch the attack and fall into a deadly trap set by the Germans.

Watch the trailer for 1917

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What you need to know about the film

1917 is set in France during WWI. It occurs across the trench warfare of the German Operation Alberich and the retreat to the Hindenburg Line in 1917.

The cast of 1917 mostly features little-known actors, but viewers will recognize Andrew Scott, Colin Firth, Mark Strong, and Benedict Cumberbatch in minor roles. George MacKay and Dean-Charles Chapman star as the two young soldiers sent to deliver the message.

1917 is fresh off a big night at the 2020 BAFTAs, where it won Best Film, Outstanding British Film, Best Director, and four other technical awards. The film also won Best Motion Picture at the Golden Globes.

Veteran cinematographer Roger Deakins has nearly swept the awards season in the Best Cinematography category for his work on 1917.

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1917: A technical marvel

1917 is filmed to appear as though it occurs in a single shot. Its long take approach results in impressive stunts and breathtaking camerawork throughout the film.

The film also gained viral attention with behind-the-scenes images of the film's production. Take a look at some of the choreography and timing that was required to shoot the film!

1917 behind-the-scenes featurette

1917 at the Oscars

1917 should be seen as the favourite for Best Picture heading into the 92nd Academy Awards this Sunday. So far, awards season voters have recognized its masterful visuals, strong performances, and moments of tender emotion.

Find out this Sunday, February 9, if the Academy hands its top prize to 1917 or if an underdog contender comes out on top. The film is nominated in a total of ten categories at the Oscars.