Harry Styles' dedicated fans now have something new to fantasize about in their fan fiction works of art: his incredibly impressive performance as a wide-eyed, but determined, British soldier despite to escape the hellhole beach he's trapped on alongside 300,000 other frightened and worn down men in Christopher Nolan's World War II epic, Dunkirk. The man known for his voice, his hair, and his affinity for floral button-ups has gone from teen heartthrob to potential Oscar contender overnight.
Dunkirk is a visually stunning, and heart-pounding slow burn, fueled by its suspenseful score from Hans Zimmer, and its perfectly cast crew of soldiers, commanders, and civilians who rely on their facial expressions and physical acting ability rather than the film's sparse dialogue. There isn't a ton of blood or gore despite the constant whizzing of bullets, bombs, and torpedos. But, luckily for Styles fans, there is a lot of the British rocker, who — second to Tom Hardy as a brave and eagle-eyed pilot — steals each scene he's in. And he's in a lot.
In response to the first wave of critics who have seen the film, the words "respect", "triumph" and even "Oscars" are being thrown around in response. Could it really be possible for the "Sign Of The Times" singer to receive an Academy Award nomination from this role?
When it was first announced that Styles would appear in Nolan's time-bending action film, critics were wary. Sure, he impressed the music world with his debut solo album earlier this year, but he can't act! Well, my friends, he can. In fact, he could even be in award show conversation for his portrayal of Alex, a shaggy-haired kid who completes the motley trio of three bruised, brunette guys (played by Fionn Whitehead and Aneurin Barnard, both stand-outs in their own regard) in an adrenaline-packed race against time to get home.
For those wary of any spoilers, you can pause here and just know that Styles will be one of the highlights of the film, and leave you considering how deeply charming he is. But Styles' character is also the only form of comic relief in the film which is absolutely the furthest thing from a light-hearted film. He jokes, and jabs, and even kicks off a conflict that ends up igniting the final arc of the film. If a supporting actor is supposed to do just that — propel the movie forward while remaining a primarily flat character — then he may really have a chance.
But if Styles' first step towards an EGOT doesn't quite pan out, just know that this is surely not the last you've heard of the film itself, which dazzles, or Hardy's heroic turtleneck-wearing character, which I could talk about till I turn blue in the face.
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