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My Top 10 Directors: 2005 Edition


In June last year, I published a list of my top 10 favourite directors, actors and actresses. It was to become an annually updated list so I’ve been a bit slack in putting it off until now.


It begins this week and will continue through October. This week I’m starting with my top 10 favourite directors as of the current moment.


My criteria are as follows. Firstly, I only look at the works of the director over the past 10 years. It’s too hard going back and looking at historical works. I want to focus on which directors I like as of right now and what they have recently done. Secondly, the director must have made at least 2 great films. I’m not interested in one-hit wonders.


So here’s my current list which includes their rank from last year. For each director, I have listed their best films of the past 10 years. Newcomers this year are Gus Van Sant, Mike Leigh and Alexander Payne. Their films of the last 12 months - Last Days & Elephant (Van Sant), Vera Drake (Leigh) and Sideways (Payne) have seen them elevated. It’s so hard to leave anyone out but those who had to make way were David Mamet (The Spanish Prisoner), Spike Jonze (Being John Malkovich) and Peter Weir (Master & Commander).


I’m extremely happy with this list and if any were to open a film tomorrow, I’d be straight there to check it out. So with my intro out of the way, enjoy…


10. M. Night Shyamalan (last year’s rank: 7)

Previous Credits: The Sixth Sense (A-), Unbreakable (A-), Signs (A-)


9. Lars Von Trier (last year’s rank: 5)

Previous Credits: Breaking The Waves (A+), Dogville (A), Dancer In The Dark (A-)


8. David Lynch (last year’s rank: 6)

Previous Credits: Mulholland Drive (A+), The Straight Story (A)


7. Alexander Payne (not ranked last year)

Previous Credits: Election (A+), Sideways (A), About Schmidt (A-)


6. Ethan Coen (last year’s rank: 3)

Previous Credits: Fargo (A+), Intolerable Cruelty (A), O Brother, Where Art Thou? (B), The Big Lebowski (B)


5. Mike Leigh (not ranked last year)

Previous Credits: Secrets & Lies (A), Topsy-Turvy (A), Vera Drake (A)


4. Curtis Hanson (last year’s rank: 8)

Previous Credits: 8 Mile (A), Wonder Boys (A), L.A. Confidential (A), In Her Shoes (A-)


3. Gus Van Sant (not ranked last year)

Previous Credits: Elephant (A), Last Days (A), Goodwill Hunting (A), To Die For (A-)


2. Scott Hicks (last year’s rank: 1)

Previous Credits: Snow Falling On Cedars (A+), Shine (A+), Hearts In Atlantis (A-)


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

Previous Credits: Magnolia (A+), Punch Drunk Love (A), Boogie Nights (B+)