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The Trench

The picture below is a publicity shot for the recently released movie The Trench, showing the writer/director William Boyd sitting among his cast. I haven't had a chance to see the film yet, but I thought I'd let you read what the Guardian's reviewer Peter Bradshaw thought of it.

William Boyd and the cast

Review by Peter Bradshaw
from The Guardian, Friday September 17, 1999

For his cinema debut, the novelist William Boyd has made a decent, and honourable stab at a film about life on the front line in the Great War, just before the Battle of the Somme: The Trench - which he has written and directed. There is plenty to admire in it: the acting is all first-rate, crowned by a terrific performance from Daniel Craig as Sergeant Winter, alternately bullying and fretting over his men and, just before the battle, nervously eating strawberry jam straight from the jar like a little boy.

But the action takes place purely in the trench, which gives it the air of a stage set, like RC Sherriff's Journey's End, populated by blithering officers, stroppy cockneys, cheerful Micks, surly Jocks, cliches of every sort. (It's a rather clean, dry trench, incidentally: very different from contemporary descriptions of filthy hell-holes teeming with rats, and with limbs from incompetently disposed of bodies sticking out of the trench walls.) There's nothing new or surprising in The Trench, nothing we didn't know already.

The Trench
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