Friday, April 16, 2010

20 Best Working Directors

1. Paul Thomas Anderson - Magnolia (1999), Punch Drunk Love (2002), There Will be Blood (2007) In my opinion P. T Anderson is the best working director today, breached all previous limits with There Will be Blood in 2007. The greatest film of the decade and one of the greatest films ever made!

2. Joel and Ethan Coen - O Brother Where Art Thou (2000), The Man Who Wasn't There (2001), No Country for Old Men (2007), Burn After Reading (2008), A Serious Man (2009). Still as consistent as ever, but shamefully only gathered their third Best Picture nomination in 09.

3. Martin Scorsese - Gangs of New York (2002), The Aviator (2004), The Departed (2006), Shutter Island (2010). While his best days are behind him, The Departed and Shutter Island are fantastic films.

4. Wes Anderson - The Royal Tenenbaums (2001), The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (2004), The Darjeeling Limited (2007) and Fantastic Mr Fox (2009). Boasts probably the most impressive recent resume. Has never made a mediocre film, in fact, all his films are magical.

5. David Fincher - Fight Club (1999), Panic Room (2002), Zodiac (2007), The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2009). While his best film remains to be Se7en (1995), Zodiac displayed some brilliance, and even Benjamin Button was a step in a different direction, despite being slightly disappointing.

6. Darren Aronofsky - Requiem for a Dream (2000), The Fountain (2006), The Wrestler (2008). Requiem and The Wrestler are two of the best films of the decade. I would love to work with this guy.

7. Quentin Tarantino - Kill Bill (Vol I and II) (2003, 2004), Deathproof (2007), Inglourious Basterds (2009). Following the horrendous Deathproof, Tarantino returns to form with Basterds, his greatest film since Pulp Fiction.

8. Alfonso Cuaron - Y Tu Mama Tambien (2001), Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004), Children of Men (2006). A personal favorite of mine, Cuaron created a masterpiece in the road film Y Tu Mama Tambien, made easily the best Harry Potter adaptation currently in the series, and didn't get enough love for the exceptional Children of Men, starring Clive Owen.

9. Shane Meadows - Dead Man's Shoes (2004), This is England (2006). Meadows has created a pair of incredible films that are already hailed as cult favorites.

10. Fernando Meirelles - City of God (2002), The Constant Gardner (2005), Blindness (2008). A fine resume. His energetic hand-held guerrilla film making style is very impressive. City of God is heralded as one of the decades best, and The Constant Gardner was a clever conspiracy thriller featuring great performances from Ralph Fiennes and Rachel Weisz.

11. Steven Spielberg - Minority Report (2002), Munich (2005), War of the Worlds (2005), Indiana Jones and the Kongdom of the Krystal Skull (2008). One of the most popular and most successful filmmakers in history. Remains on this list because of Munich, which is one of his greatest films, but threatens to slide off for everything else made this decade.

12. Clint Eastwood - Mystic River (2003), Million Dollar Baby (2004), Flags of Our Fathers (2006), Letters from Iwo Jima (2006), Changeling (2008) and Gran Torino (2008). Has been working very hard, and has directed a lot of recent films. However, his best remain Mystic River and Million Dollar Baby, although his pair of 2008 films were powerful dramas.

13. Jason Reitman - Thank You for Smoking (2006), Juno (2007) and Up in the Air (2009). A young director that hasn't put a foot wrong. Juno is a cute, likable film but Up in the Air is a masterpiece and one of the finest films of 2009.

14. Danny Boyle - 28 Days Later (2002), Sunshine (2007), Slumdog Millionaire (2008). Received worldwide acclaim for this work on Slumdog Millionaire, but what is equally impressive is his work on 28 Days later, one of the best horror films of the decade, and the very underrated Sunshine.

15. Edgar Wright - Shaun of the dead (2004), Hot Fuzz (2007). This man has directed two of the best comedies of the decade. Kudos!

16. Christopher Nolan - Memento (2000), Insomnia (2002), Batman Begins (2005), The Prestige (2006), The Dark Knight (2008). Became a recognizable star after Memento in 2000, and then was given the reigns to the new Batman franchise. Apart from a few wayward moments to conclude The Dark Knight, he has remained relatively solid.

17. David Cronenberg - A History of Violence (2005), Eastern Promises (2007). Both collaborations with Viggo Mortenses have resulted in outstanding films. But makes very few films, so his next installment could be long-awaited.

18. Woody Allen - Match Point (2005), Vicky Christina Barcelona (2008) and Whatever Works (2009). Loved Match Point, and I thought Whatever Works was a brilliant rant about life, delivered by Larry David mind you. Woody still has the skills.

19. Hayao Miyazaki - Spirited Away (2001), Howl's Moving Castle (2004), Ponyo (2008). Has been one of the only directors to stand up to the might of Pixar this decade. Princess Mononoke (1997) introduced him to foreign audiences, but Spirited Away reaped him reward. It is amazing.

20. Alexander Payne - Sideways (2004). A fantastic director that has made very few films. One of those films is Sideways, which is one of the decades best films, and a personal favorite of mine.

Honorable Mentions: Oliver Stone, Ridley Scott. Stone has been one of my favorite directors for years, but his best work is well behind him and his last great film was 1999's Any Given Sunday. As for Scott, who boasts Alien and Blade Runner on his resume, he has been pumping out too many films and has not hit brilliance since 2000's Gladiator, despite Matchstick Men and American Gangster proving to be quality films. The new Robin Hood looks like a disaster also.