Dir: Terence Davies



137 mins



Jack Lowden, Peter Capaldi, Jeremy Irvine, Julian Sands

Terence Davies’ place in the pantheon of great British directors is long assured. Films like The Long Day Closes, Distant Voices, Still Lives and Of Time and the City show an uncanny ability to find tender ground in emotional remove, opening up an ocean of feeling behind the reserve. In his seventies, Davies is still able to add more stars to the firmament with Benediction, a life portrait of Siegfried Sassoon.

Known primarily today as an anti-war poet, Sassoon’s life is rich with contradictions that make a life-spanning narrative the perfect approach. Awarded for his gallantry in World War I, he went on to fiercely oppose the war. Openly gay among the Bright Young Things in 1920s London, he nevertheless settled into heterosexual marriage and Catholicism in his later years. Played by Jack Lowden (Mary, Queen of Scots; Dunkirk) in his youth and Peter Capaldi (Local Hero, The Thick of It) in his later years, Davies is characteristically commanding in building a portrait as complex as the man himself.

Benediction is Davies’ second great consideration of a life of a poet in recent years, following 2016’s Emily Dickinson biopic A Quiet Passion. Where that film honed in on Dickinson’s cloistered life, this maps Sassoon’s broad circle, a merry-go-round of Roaring Twenties high society, with his relationship with poet Wilfred Owen (Matthew Tennyson) looming large over it all. An acerbic portrait of British life and its restrictions, Benediction ranks among Davies’ very best.

Booking Information


Vertigo Releasing

0203 141 3440


Blu-ray / DVD Bookings


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