Be warned: hot take incoming.
Those three films, when looked at together, amount to the greatest three films, released in three consecutive year trifecta from any director, ever.
Directing three films in back to back to back years is a daring feat to begin with, and only few of the all time greats have done so. Here is a list of some of the most notable directors working in Hollywood today. Tarantino, Bigelow, Scorsese, Anderson, Ramsay, Inarritu, Nolan, Boyle, Coppola. While they have all released plenty of hits this side of the 21st century, none have even been able to complete three in three years.
To begin, the three films Villeneuve directed were not a part of a connected trilogy or franchise, so the production was not planned to move as one fell swoop from one film to the next. The environments and characters are new and fresh from film to film. With every project, he had to start again from square one, realize a new vision and approach production in radically different ways, which is the characteristics that separates his quasi-trilogy from directors like Leone, which follows The Man With No Name from dusty town to dusty town.
Finally, at this point in his career, Villeneuve was just beginning to truly realize his directorial vision, whereas Hitchcock had established himself as a homerun hitter and fell into a directorial groove with all-time classics like Notorious (1946), Rear Window (1954), and Dial M for Murder (19554), to only name a few. While he has never produced a film that disappoints by any means, Villeneuve was just beginning to master his craft, after delivering diversified hits like RRW FFWd (1994), Polytechnique, (2009), and Prisoners (2013). He was still discovering his trademark visual style of today that makes his films immediately recognizable, and establishing the thematic threads that subtly string his films together, as any truly elite director’s filmography has.
By: Quinten Sansosti
Quinten is currently a junior majoring in Political Science with an Arts of the Moving Image certificate. His favorite filmmakers include Quentin Tarantino, Denis Villeneuve, and Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu.