Oscar predictions: Why Antonio Banderas should win best actor instead of Joaquin Phoenix for ‘Joker’

In recent weeks, though, director and co-writer Sam Mendes’ WWI drama “1917” has established itself as the spoiler in this Oscar race. It’s a marriage story, though not one-tenth as good a film as “Marriage Story.” It marries a flashy visual strategy — its action is staged, digitally stitched and edited to unfold as a single, continuous two-hour blur of life-and-death peril — with the simplest possible scenario, minimizing its human component in favor a first-person gamer’s approach to horrific real-life trauma. “1917” is wartime trauma without the trauma, which is partly why audiences are going for it. It’s a movie you play, rather than watch.

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