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.
Kate Phillips, Jack Lowden, Jeremy Irvine
United Kingdom, United States
- "Terence Davies’s film is a rhapsodic portrayal of an upper-crust milieu in which words are wielded like weapons by people who might otherwise be pariahs."
- Slant Magazine
- "This is a film that trembles with a need for redemption that never comes, and the urgency of that search is palpable enough that you can feel it first-hand, even if BENEDICTION is never particularly clear about the nature of the redemption it’s hoping to find."
- "The sheer depth of Sassoon's personal misery feels like a brutally unfashionable thing for a contemporary film to confront, but Davies, who’s never given a fig about fashion, confronts it head on."
- The Telegraph
- San Sebastián Int'l Film Festival
- Dublin Int'l Film Festival
- International Cinephile Society Awards
- Online Film Critics Society Awards
- Dublin Film Critics Circle Awards