Date Shown

1st Feb 2023

Benediction (2022), Terence Davies’s exploration of the turbulent life of First World War poet Siegfried Sassoon. Personally I feel Davies is one of the best directors around today and love his work, which always feels deeply personal, like his autobiographical Distant Voices, Still Lives (1988), and The Long Day Closes (1992).

Tire film details Sassoon’s poetry on the horrors of the Great War and his experience on the Western Front, cleverly intercutting dramatic scenes with his relationship with Wilfred Owen and other key moments in his life. He was a war hero, receiving the Military Cross for gallantry in 1916, but also a contradictory troubled figure, despising his war experiences and trying to come to terms with his own homosexuality. Terence Davies has found in Sassoon’s story a narrative that touches on many of his own personal experiences, from his sexuality to his search for inner peace and self-acceptance. He has always been a poet of British cinema and this, his latest film, is a dazzling, accessible example of his craft. ‘Profoundly affecting’ The Hollywood Reporter, ‘Staggering variety, moments of cinematic transcendence’ Mark Kermode.

Audience Reactions


A: 26,  B: 09,  C: 04,  D: 01,  E: 0.

A: The power & horror of war, and to think it’s still happening! (A) Fabulous script & acting (A) Gripping. (A) Excellent script – powerfully delivered – very moving (A) Great film (A) Terrific acting by Jack Lowden (A)
Brittle, bitter, tragic doomed survivor. An enlightening & different take on a subject we thought we knew better. (A) Moving, funny, great acting…Lost its intensity a bit in last quarter! (A)
It had the feeling of a poetry anthology (A) Very moving – just a little bit long! (A) The tragedy of war, a harrowing film but beautiful. (A) Excellent in so many ways. Humorous, emotional and heartwarming (A)
Fantastic (A) Amazing genius, superb acting, truly a pacifist film (A) Truly superb, but we will never fully understand. (A) Terrific film with the most ghastly people in it! (A) Beautiful, beautiful script, acting was superb. (A)
Superb. So many dimensions and insights. So sad & so funny at times too. (A) Brilliant acting and script. Funny and moving. (A)

B: Not the kind of camp I was expecting (B) A bit disjointed (B)

C: Brilliant dialogue & witty. Found it difficult to reconcile the older Sassoon with the younger man. (C) Torn about this film. Not a poetry fan but the anti-war message was important (C) The film presumed to show war changed his character. I think not. He was unlikeable. (C)

D: Good in places! (D)

IMDB details

Benediction | December 23, 2021 (Australia) 6.7


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Siegfried Sassoon
Hamo Sassoon
Robbie Ross
Siegfried Sassoon (Older)
George Sassoon
Major McCartney-Filgate
First Army Doctor
Second Army Doctor
Chief Medical Officer
Dr. Rivers
Wilfred Owen
Female Singer

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Countries: United Kingdom, United StatesLanguages: English, French, German


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