Jack Lowden, Peter Capaldi, Gemma Jones,
Terence Davies separates man from myth in his masterly re-creation of acclaimed English poet Siegfried Sassoon’s life. Battles still rage when Sassoon’s impassioned antiwar verse leads to the decorated World War I hero’s commitment to a psychiatric hospital. Rejoining society in the early 1920s, Sassoon falls in with London’s Bright Young Things and into affairs with composer Ivor Novello and other men before marrying, fathering a son, and converting to Catholicism. Rather than present the story sequentially, Davies ingeniously shifts between eras, presenting a life often in contradiction and conversation with itself. With the same sort of restlessness, Davies brilliantly uses archival footage, gleefully catty dialog, and the moving poetry of Sassoon and contemporary Wilfred Owen to mine the complex emotional territory of his subject.