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Christopher Nolan explains Dunkirk's PG-13 rating, says it's not a war movie

04.05.2017

Christopher Nolan Dunkirk

Over the past decade, Christopher Nolan has tackled superheroes and the bending of reality, but his next effort, DUNKIRK, focuses on the very real experience of the Allied soldiers who were stranded on the beaches of Dunkirk as they awaited evacuation while surrounded by the German Army. The modern era of World War II movies typically haven't been shy about exploring the gritty reality of a soldiers life, which usually means embracing an R-rating, but when it was announced that DUNKIRK would be rated PG-13, there was a question about whether Nolan would be toning down the story.

While speaking with the Associated Press (via ABC News), Nolan explained that DUNKIRK's rating means that the film will be more about suspense than carnage.

All of my big blockbuster films have been PG-13. It's a rating I feel comfortable working with totally. "Dunkirk" is not a war film. It's a survival story and first and foremost a suspense film. So while there is a high level of intensity to it, it does not necessarily concern itself with the bloody aspects of combat, which have been so well done in so many films. We were really trying to take a different approach and achieve intensity in a different way. I would really like lots of different types of people to get something out of the experience.

As far as the story of DUNKIRK is concerned, Nolan has said that the dialogue will be significantly stripped down compared to his previous movies and feature three different perspectives on the event.

The film is told from three points of view. The air (planes), the land (on the beach) and the sea (the evacuation by the navy). For the soldiers embarked in the conflict, the events took place on different temporalities. On land, some stayed one week stuck on the beach. On the water, the events lasted a maximum day; And if you were flying to Dunkirk, the British spitfires would carry an hour of fuel. To mingle these different versions of history, one had to mix the temporal strata. Hence the complicated structure; Even if the story, once again, is very simple.

Christopher Nolan has brought his typical grand scale to DUNKIRK, but you can't believe everything you hear about the lengths he went in order to bring the epic story to life. It had been rumoured that Nolan spent $5 million on a vintage WWII aircraft which he strapped IMAX cameras to and purposefully crashed, but Nolan set the record straight by denying that he would ever purposefully crash a real antique plane.

No. We used real antique vintage planes and flew them for the movie but we also constructed full scale models to destroy. A lot of money was involved but not that much money. I would never! Obviously never ... These planes are so beautiful and so valuable for so many reasons and the respect I have for them having done this, especially now having worked with them. The Spitfire is the most glorious machine.

DUNKIRK is set for a July 21, 2017 release.

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1:47PM on 04/06/2017

Good for him

I am sick of war movies trying to get by on gore. This could be a true emotional film that relies on acting rather than huge set pieces.
I am sick of war movies trying to get by on gore. This could be a true emotional film that relies on acting rather than huge set pieces.
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12:54AM on 04/06/2017

My favorite Nolan films are PG-13

Plus it's actually refreshing to watch a non gory war film
Plus it's actually refreshing to watch a non gory war film
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9:48PM on 04/05/2017
He's not trying to remake Saving Private Ryan. That's just not the story he wants to tell.
He's not trying to remake Saving Private Ryan. That's just not the story he wants to tell.
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8:49PM on 04/05/2017
A bit concerning, but he hasn't failed yet. We shall see.
A bit concerning, but he hasn't failed yet. We shall see.
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7:47PM on 04/05/2017
Christopher Nolan has done a lot with a PG-13 rating previously. Look at most of his movies, especially The Dark Knight. I am willing to trust his abilities. And, if Dunkirk is his first egg, it is.
Christopher Nolan has done a lot with a PG-13 rating previously. Look at most of his movies, especially The Dark Knight. I am willing to trust his abilities. And, if Dunkirk is his first egg, it is.
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6:45PM on 04/05/2017
So that it could be an Oscar bait
So that it could be an Oscar bait
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7:03PM on 04/05/2017
Nolan is not one to do that. Plus, if he was doing that, he wouldn't have the movie released in July.
Nolan is not one to do that. Plus, if he was doing that, he wouldn't have the movie released in July.
7:27PM on 04/05/2017
Yes. Because there's never been an R rated movie based on war that's been nominated or won any Oscar.
Yes. Because there's never been an R rated movie based on war that's been nominated or won any Oscar.
7:45PM on 04/05/2017
it's when I see stupid comments like this, that I realize some people on joblo have no idea what they are talking about.
it's when I see stupid comments like this, that I realize some people on joblo have no idea what they are talking about.
8:48PM on 04/05/2017
Huh? Since when does a PG-13 instead of R increase chances of Oscars? There is no real evidence to support that.
Huh? Since when does a PG-13 instead of R increase chances of Oscars? There is no real evidence to support that.
11:51PM on 04/05/2017
Holy shit James.
Holy shit James.
7:20AM on 04/06/2017
HAHAHAHA please tell me you're trolling here.
HAHAHAHA please tell me you're trolling here.
8:00AM on 04/06/2017
worst comment ever
worst comment ever
6:41PM on 04/05/2017
Looking forward to this movie, but really surprised it'd being released in the summer. Normally I'd expect this to be an end of year release to be fresh for awards, especially if the film ends up as good as we all hope it will be. Unfortunately, even good original films tend to get lost in the shuffle of the crowded summer releases filled with seuqels and spin-offs.
Looking forward to this movie, but really surprised it'd being released in the summer. Normally I'd expect this to be an end of year release to be fresh for awards, especially if the film ends up as good as we all hope it will be. Unfortunately, even good original films tend to get lost in the shuffle of the crowded summer releases filled with seuqels and spin-offs.
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