Benediction is a powerful of the life of Siegfried Sassoon.

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.

Benediction has a lot of strong parts about it, for starters the acting is very well done from everyone involved Jack Lowden as Siegfried Sassoon was quite fantastic, the end of the film is truly powerful and leaves with a very strong note in hand. The direction from Terrance Davies is very raw and quite powerful as well, the best part about the film is the film’s exploration of Sassoon as a poet and him as a person. Which leads to some quite fascinating moments that truly capture the 1920s during World War I, what mostly helps it feels like Davies’s direction feels a bit personal here. Which isn’t a first time occurrence as he sometimes does put some personal type elements in his autobiographical films, whether that be camera angles that really standout and are up close, parts of the writing that instantly connects the viewer to who the film is about in this case Sassoon, or the very raw acting that completely builds some of the strongest moments in his films. The pacing and the running time do slow the film back a bit, however it isn’t nearly enough to stop this film from being beautifully done and told.

Benediction is available on all VOD platforms.

8/10 B+

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