‘Dunkirk’ won box office – is an Oscar next?

The film is now one of the 10 domestically highest-grossing movies of the year. As a historical drama, it stands in sharp contrast to such fellow Top 10 list occupiers as the remake of 'Beauty and the Beast' and superhero movies 'Wonder Woman' and 'Spider-Man: Homecoming.'


In 1940,the evacuation of Dunkirk, France, inspired celebration in Britain, and the World War II event still fascinates the moviegoing public, judging from the box-office results and awards buzz generated by the movie based on it.

“Dunkirk,” directed by Christopher Nolan of the acclaimed “Dark Knight” series and starring Fionn Whitehead, Tom Hardy, and Mark Rylance, chronicles the operation that rescued more than 300,000 men and enthralled the people of Britain. The film became a box-office hit this past summer and is now one of the 10 domestically highest-grossing movies of the year. As a historical drama, it stands in sharp contrast to such fellow Top 10 list occupiers as the remake of “Beauty and the Beast” and superhero movies “Wonder Woman,” “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” and “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.”

In a summer that was full of such fare, what drew moviegoers to “Dunkirk”? “I think Christopher Nolan’s name,” says Mark Evan Schwartz, associate professor of screenwriting at the School of Film & Television at Loyola Marymount University. “It’s certainly an interesting historical event ... but I think that Christopher Nolan is one of a handful of directors who have really reached star status.... I think there’s a cross-generational appeal there as well.... An older audience that sort of yearns for some history and a sort of good old-fashioned heroic war story ... would be interested in seeing it.”

Now that Oscar season is approaching, many industry-watchers are considering “Dunkirk” a contender for best picture. (It's already received awards nominations including a Golden Globe nod for best motion picture – drama.) If nominated, the film likely would be a favorite of both academy voters and the public. However, while Professor Schwartz expects the film to get a best picture nomination, he doesn’t see it taking home the big prize. Instead, he calls it a likely winner for technical awards such as best sound editing and best sound mixing, or best score for Hans Zimmer’s work. “I think it’s one of the best-scored movies that I’ve heard in a long time,” he says.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.
Real news can be honest, hopeful, credible, constructive.
What is the Monitor difference? Tackling the tough headlines – with humanity. Listening to sources – with respect. Seeing the story that others are missing by reporting what so often gets overlooked: the values that connect us. That’s Monitor reporting – news that changes how you see the world.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.

QR Code to ‘Dunkirk’ won box office – is an Oscar next?
Read this article in
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today