Siegfried Sassoon was a renowned poet, an outspoken critic of World War I, and a gay man. Now his story is set to be told in the upcoming biopic Benediction, directed by Terence Davies (A Quiet Passion) and starring Peter Capaldi (Doctor Who) and Jack Lowden (Dunkirk) both as the famed poet.
The film follows Sassoon’s life from his time in WWI to his opposition to the government’s continuation of the war as well as his relationships with men — and his wife — as he comes to understand his sexuality.
“A complex man who survived the horrors of fighting in the First World War, Siegfried Sassoon, a soldier decorated for his bravery on the battlefield, became a vocal critic of the government’s continuation of the war when he returned from service,” reads the synopsis.
“Legendary still today for his poetry inspired by his experiences on the Western Front, he was adored by both members of the aristocracy as well as stars of London’s literary and theatre scene. He embarked on affairs with several high-profile men as he attempted to come to terms with his homosexuality, whilst at the same time, broken by the horrors of war, his life’s journey became a quest for salvation.”
The film debuted at the 2021 Toronto International Film Festival, where it received rave reviews from critics, who lauded Lowden’s performance in particular in this poignant story of self-discovery and loss. Benediction is set to be released in the U.K. and Ireland this spring. U.S. dates have yet to be announced. Watch the trailer below.