Feature Blogs

My Top 10 Directors: 2006 Edition

Created on Tuesday, 17 October 2006 21:00
Written by Matthew Toomey


For the last two years, I’ve dedicated three Film Pie newsletter issues to rating my favourite directors, actors and actresses. It’s been just over 12 months since I last reviewed the list and so it’s time to do it again. This week, I’m starting with directors.


In assessing the directors, I only consider films which each director has made in the last 10 years. The reason is because I like living in the moment. I want to compile a list of directors who interest me today. If these directors were to release a film tomorrow, then I would be there “with bells on”.


When you see over 200 films a year, it’s not easy narrowing the list to just 10 directors. I started with a short-list and slowly reduced it until I had the magic number. There wasn’t enough room for some filmmakers whom I really wanted to include. Those on the bubble included David Lynch, Lars Von Trier, Martin Scorsese, Ang Lee, Rob Marshall, Alfonso Cuaron, Robert Altman, Clint Eastwood and Peter Jackson.


My 2006 list includes 6 directors who appeared in last year’s this. There are 4 newcomers however and the biggest climber is Paul Greengrass who slips into the number 3 spot. Other newbies are Woody Allen, Christopher Nolan and Sam Mendes.


Here then, in reverse order, and my favourite 10 directors of the moment and a few of their great creations…


10. Ethan Coen (last year’s rank: 6)

My Personal Favourite: The Big Lebowski (1998)

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


9. Sam Mendes (not ranked last year)

My Personal Favourite: American Beauty (1999)

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


8. Christopher Nolan (not ranked last year)

My Personal Favourite: Memento (2000)

Other Great Works: Batman Begins (2005), Insomnia (2002)


7. Scott Hicks (last year’s rank: 2)

My Personal Favourite: Snow Falling On Cedars (1999)

Other Great Works: Hearts In Atlantis (2001)


6. Woody Allen (not ranked last year)

My Personal Favourite: Deconstructing Harry (1997)

Other Great Works: Match Point (2005), Melinda & Melinda (2004), Small Time Crooks (2000), Celebrity (1998)


5. Alexander Payne (last year’s rank: 7)

My Personal Favourite: Election (1999)

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


4. Curtis Hanson (last year’s rank: 4)

My Personal Favourite: Wonder Boys (2000)

Other Great Works: In Her Shoes (2005), 8 Mile (2002), L.A. Confidential (1997)


3. Paul Greengrass (not ranked last year)

My Personal Favourite: United 93 (2006)

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


2. Gus Van Sant (last year’s rank: 3)

My Personal Favourite: Elephant (2003)

Other Great Works: Last Days (2005), Good Will Hunting (1997)


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

My Personal Favourite: Magnolia (1999),

Other Great Works: Punch Drunk Love (2002), Boogie Nights (1997)