Sam Mendes’ “1917” (2019) is more than just a technical marvel; it’s a captivating survival story of young men in wartime. While its one-take approach with all of its footage melded together to look as though the full two hour film was one continuous shot is great, this is not a film ruled by its gimmick. In fact, it’s easy to forget about the one-take editing by Lee Smith once you’re into the action of the movie until there’s a particularly impressive bit of camera movement. At its heart, “1917” tells a story about the destruction that war.
Last year was probably one of the best years for film in quite some time. Throughout the entire fall, week after week, it felt like the phrase “oh, this is going to be in my top ten for sure” became incredibly common. From Bong-Ho Joon’s enthralling and mind-blowing depiction of class with “Parasite” to the box-office smashing end of the Infinity Saga with the Russo Brothers’ “Avengers: Endgame”, there were so many new kinds of stories and visions that constantly pushed genre boundaries. 2019 was especially a great year for female filmmakers as there was an onslaught of incredible films from both new and already established women in film.