A Masterpiece of cinema by Denis Villeneuve
By now everyone is probably familiar with the David Lynch version of Frank Herbert’s epic sci-fi novel Dune. By anybody’s standards, it’s not necessarily the best film Lynch has made or one of the best sci-fi films for that matter. Other than Star Wars and Aliens, most sci-fi films were kind of campy artificial-looking. The visual effects didn’t look seamless like they should have. It was quite a surprise and exciting news when the story broke that Denis Villeneuve signed on to direct a remake of this classic IP. It was a big undertaking though.
If you are not familiar with the Frank Herbert book, it’s the story of House Atreides and young Paul Atreides (Timothee Chalamet) specifically. House Atreides is tasked with overseeing the desert planet called Arrakis, also known as Dune. It has a very valuable commodity known as spice. Another large house in the galaxy, House Harkonen is evicted from Dune by the emperor, but they are not having it. They have nefarious schemes to cause trouble between House Atreides and the indigenous life on Dune called Fremen. Even an evil witches guild, the Bene Gesserit, plays a part in this sci-fi epic, and the trials and tribulations this house has to go through.
Denis Villeneuve is what is called an auteur director. His style is very beautiful, to say the least. All his films, most notably Prisoners, Arrival, and Blade Runner 2049 are gorgeous. Roger Deakins won an Academy Award for Blade Runner 2049 and he’s been nominated 17 times in total for his cinematography. He’s back for Dune and it shows because this is the best-looking film of the year. These worlds depicted in the film come to life behind the camera of Deakins.
Added to the great cinematography is the amazing set production, and score by Hans Zimmer. This film looked like it actually existed and the set production has a lot to do with it. The visual effects make everything look real. It’s uncanny how realistic all the ships and locations looked. The score hits you over the head because it’s so good. The drums and percussion sections were on fire. The intensity of the score is so strong and that is very noticeable in the final product. The crafts departments are amazing as well. The hairstyles and costumes look authentic and look very real and lived in.
The cast of this film is first-rate. Villeneuve has worked with a great cast in the past, but this is the most ambitious cast he’s worked with. This list goes on and on, including great actors such as Oscar Isaac, Jason Mamoa, Dave Bautista, Zendaya, Javier Bardem, Josh Brolin, and Rebecca Ferguson. They were all very effective in their various roles. Having such a great cast helps bring this fantastical story to life.
Dune is an absolute masterpiece of cinema. It is one of the most beautifully crafted films I’ve ever seen. The set production and cinematography are both incredible. The acting by this all-star cast is first-rate. The crafts departments are all amazing as well. This film will be nominated for a bunch of below-the-line Academy Awards. I’m sure of it. Denis Villeneuve has made great films in the past, but this might be the best yet in his career. This film is one of the best of the year bar none.
Dan Skip Allen