Benediction, 2022. Directed by Terence Davies. Starring Jack Lowden, Peter Capaldi, Jeremy Irvine, Kate Phillips, Gemma Jones, Simon Russell Beale, and Ben Daniels. SYNOPSIS: The story of English poet, writer and soldier Siegfried Sassoon.
By Chris Connor
Terence Davies has left an indelible mark on the landscape of British cinema over the past four decades with numerous acclaimed films including Deep Blue Sea, Distant Voices, Still Lives and The Long Day Closes. Davies’ films are noted for being semi-biographical and often referencing cinema with a focus on post-war Britain. His latest is Benediction, a biopic of the war poet Siegfried Sassoon chronicling his years in the First World War and his life and social circle post-war with a younger Sassoon played by Jack Lowden and an aging Siegfried played by Peter Capaldi .
One of the challenges facing Benediction is perhaps that there is greater awareness around his war exploits and friendship with the renowned war poet Wilfred Owen. The friendship of the pair is touched upon but perhaps doesn’t play as much of a part as one might expect although it is responsible for some of the film’s most hard hitting moments revolving around Owen’s poem Disabled. Continue reading