Feature Blogs

My Top 10 Directors: 2008 Edition

Created on Tuesday, 14 October 2008 21:00
Written by Matthew Toomey


In 2004, I started a three-week newsletter series where I listed my favourite directors, actors and actresses. I’ve continued that traditonal in recent years and now it’s time to reveal my current favourites nearing the end of 2008.


This week, I’m starting off with my 10 favourite directors. There is only one rule – I can only consider films which have been made in the last 10 years in weighing up the merits of each director. In other words, I’m only looking at current directors. So I apologise in advance to fans of legendary directors such Stanley Kubrick and Alfred Hitchcock in saying that they won’t make the cut.


Whilst the order has been mixed around a bit this year, the only new inclusion was Mike Leigh (who I’ve had on my list before). With the help of his new film, Happy-Go-Lucky, he squeezes in at the expense of Woody Allen, who has been struggling of late (with Match Point being an exception).


I have a new leader though. I’ve had Paul Thomas Anderson on top of the list in 2005, 2006 and 2007. I had to change this year to the Coen brothers thanks to their awesome work in both No Country For Old Men and Burn After Reading. These guys are just too good.


Here then is my full list…


10. Mike Leigh (not ranked last year)

My Personal Favourite: Topsy-Turvy (1999)

Other Great Works: Happy-Go-Lucky (2008), Vera Drake (2004)

Next To Be Released: ???????


9. Sam Mendes (last year’s rank: 9)

My Personal Favourite: American Beauty (1999)

Other Great Works: Jarhead (2005), Road To Perdition (2002)

Next To Be Released: Revolutionary Road (2009)


8. Clint Eastwood (last year’s rank: 8)

My Personal Favourite: Million Dollar Baby (2004)

Other Great Works: Flags Of Our Father (2006), Letters From Iwo Jima (2006), Mystic River (2003)

Next To Be Released: Changeling (2008)


7. Gus Van Sant (last year’s rank: 6)

My Personal Favourite: Elephant (2003)

Other Great Works: Paranoid Park (2007), Last Days (2005)

Next To Be Released: Milk (2008)


6. David Fincher (last year’s rank: 5)

My Personal Favourite: Zodiac (2007)

Other Great Works: Fight Club (1999)

Next To Be Released: The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button (2008)


5. Christopher Nolan (last year’s rank: 3)

My Personal Favourite: Memento (2000)

Other Great Works: The Dark Knight (2008), The Prestige (2006), Batman Begins (2005), Insomnia (2002)

Next To Be Released: ???????


4. Alexander Payne (last year’s rank: 4)

My Personal Favourite: Election (1999)

Other Great Works: Sideways (2004), About Schmidt (2002)

Next To Be Released: Fork In The Road (2010)


3. Paul Greengrass (last year’s rank: 2)

My Personal Favourite: United 93 (2006)

Other Great Works: The Bourne Ultimatum (2007), The Bourne Supremacy (2004), Bloody Sunday (2002)

Next To Be Released: Green-Zone (2009)


2. Paul Thomas Anderson (last year’s rank: 1)

My Personal Favourite: Magnolia (1999)

Other Great Works: There Will Be Blood (2007), Punch Drunk Love (2002)

Next To Be Released: There Will Be Blood (2007)


1. Coen Brothers (last year’s rank: 10)

My Personal Favourite: No Country For Old Men (2007)

Other Great Works: Burn After Reading (2008), Intolerable Cruelty (2003), O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000)

Next To Be Released: A Serious Man (2008)


Next week, we’ll take a look at my favourite actresses. See you then.