World War I movie Benediction is out soon and we’ve got some new clips to share.
Playing the younger and older version of Sassoon are Jack Lowden (War & Peace, The Long Song) and Peter Capaldi (Doctor Who).
They’re joined in Benediction by Jeremy Irvine (War Horse), Calam Lynch (Mrs Wilson), Simon Russell Beale (Mary Queen of Scots), Ben Daniels (The Crown), Anton Lesser (Endeavour), Geraldine James (Downton Abbey), and Kate Phillips (Wolf Hall).
Watch a clip:
The official synopsis reads: “Sassoon 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. His story is one of a troubled man in a fractured world searching for peace and self-acceptance, something which speaks as meaningfully to the modern world as it did then.”
Here’s another clip:
Writer and director Terence Davies (A Quiet Passion, Sunset Song) has discussed the challenges of making a movie about Sassoon’s life.
He commented: “Only when I started reading about his life did I realise what a huge subject it was. So how could I write it and make sense of it? All within a two-hour film. There was so much to shape – and so much to lose.”
Davies explained: “I thought the best idea was to concentrate on those things that interested me. I didn’t know Sassoon was gay, nor that he had converted to Catholicism. Being an ex-Catholic, that was quite a shock for me. Then there was his constant search for some kind of redemption, which never comes because you can’t find redemption in anyone or anything. You have to find it in yourself.”
Watch the trailer here:
Benediction is set to arrive in cinemas in the UK and Ireland on Friday 20th May.
A limited release in the US will follow next month from Friday 3rd June.
Kate Phillips returns to our TV screens later this year in a second season of Miss Scarlet and The Duke!
The War Poems of Siegfried Sassoon book is available on Amazon.