Before embarking on his mission to dramatize the saga of how middle-aged citizens formed an armada of motorboats and yachts, traveled across the English Channel and ferried their army back home to safety, Nolan turned to his friend Steven Spielberg for advice and aid. He asked the director to lend him a pristine print of “Saving Private Ryan” that had only been run a half dozen times, so that he could show his crew how Spielberg had orchestrated the battle at Omaha Beach. Spielberg did more for Nolan than give him his print.
“Knowing and respecting that Chris is one of the world’s most imaginative filmmakers, my advice to him was to leave his imagination, as I did on ‘Ryan,’ in second position to the research he was doing to authentically acquit this historical drama,” recalls Spielberg.
Paul Thomas Anderson:
Paul Thomas Anderson, the director of “The Master” and “There Will Be Blood” and an admirer of “Dunkirk,” hails the film’s economical quality. He notes that there’s very little dialogue, which contributes to its power. “Its practically wordless structure was so exciting to me,” Anderson tells Variety. “It’s stripped down to bare essentials.”
Both of these came from the same Variety article on Nolan: http://variety.com/2017/film/news/christopher-nolan-dunkirk-oscars-movies-tv-spielberg-1202607836/