Setting itself apart from standard biopics, Benediction injects a serious subject with two qualities you wouldn’t expect in a film such as this: humor and almost dream-like visual flare. As we see Siegfried Sassoon’s younger years play out through military service and on the social circuit, Jack Lowden holds court as the English poet. Right from the start, we see Benediction clue us into the heartbreak that Sassoon would find himself suffering throughout his life; and the art that would come from it. Haunted by World War I, we see actual footage integrated into scenes of reflection, as both Lowden and Peter Capaldi’s incarnations of Siegfried reflect on what was to be the war to end all wars.
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