Sunday, 8 November 2009

2007: The Directors

This is always a hard category for me. I know what I like, but is it always well directed. For that matter...what does well directed mean. I'll have to ponder that question someday. Maybe. Here are the good directors of 2007 for me.


The Finalists
P. T. Anderson for There Will Be Blood
It’s good to see him finally getting recognised. A period tends to do that.
Coen Brothers for No Country for Old Men
Second to Schnabel as far as the actual nominees were concerned. So I couldn’t grudge them their win. Well not much.
Adam Shankman for Hairspray
The silliness is just what the story needed and he handles it well.
Vincent Paronnaud for Persepolis
It’s rare that I feel an animated film was wonderfully directed. But this is a rare film.

The Nominees

Tim Burton for Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
The man has his faults, but he knows how to use what he has to his advantage and he does it here. ‘My Friends’ is one of the best directed musical numbers in the last two decades. And imagine, it’s a song about singing to knives. That’s good direction.

Andrew Dominik for The Assassination of Jesse James
It’s painstakingly directed – in a good way. It’s obvious the effort that went into this, and for that as well as for the execution I applaud him.

Sidney Lumet for Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead
I suppose when you compare him to his contemporaries he’s not as refined, but it’s his style. The murky cinematography and the deceptive choppy editing is what makes him as good as he is.

Julian Schnabel for The Diving Bell & the Butterfly
Such a cliché it is; but it’s obviously directed with a lot of heat and it’s obvious. It’s a great job from him, the direction is almost like a character alongside all else.

Joe Wright for Atonement
The landscape section is eye candy and you can’t help but get caught up. The scenes at war are poignant especially when juxtaposed with those flashbacks. The hospital is clinical as necessary almost frighteningly so. And Vanessa’s monologue is handled well. But I love those last few imagined moments at the cottage. Maybe it’s just improvisation, but they’re beautiful.


There were many good films…but only these nine made a huge impact on me in terms of palpably directing their films. But what do I know?

1 comment:

Danny King said...

I guess I was one of the few who wasn't blown away by Lumet's film. The acting was remarkable for me, and I guess it was well-directed, but I was disappointed at how it finished.

I would definitely have PTA in my top five along with Reitman, Burton, Schnabel, and the Coens.