The death of auteur theory?

The Critics’ Choice Awards just proclaimed Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood as the best film of 2019 while awarding (in a tie) best director to Sam Mendes for 1917 and Bong Joon Ho for Parasite. So much for auteur theory.

And in another baffling move, the Critics Choice Association gave best editing to 1917. Though Mendes’ masterpiece is my pick for best film of the year, it is designed to look like a single take. In other words, it’s supposed to look like there are no edits. And therein lies the intrigue. I gather the critics were so impressed with the scene stitching that they forgave the fact that the editing required almost no creativity, just a mastery of craft and technology. It’s a counterintuitive choice indeed.

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