Monday August 15
Director – Terence Davies
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.
Beautifully designed and photographed, sensitively written and directed by England’s acclaimed Terence Davies, and impeccably acted by a distinguished cast that turns life into art, Benediction is one gorgeous motion picture. – Rex Reed, The Observer
Not every temporal shift lands in this ambitiously conceived study of Sassoon, but at its best it’s sublime, with a tremendous star turn by Jack Lowden. – Guy Lodge, Variety