In a movie business where the bulk of writing quality is rapidly declining, a movie needs great directing to be successful. In Hollywood there are only a couple directors that stand out to me. When I first really started following movies, I felt the best Director out there was Quentin Tarantino. In his early days, his unique, humorous and un-traditional plots and taglines made for great films and instant classics (Pulp Fiction, Reservoir Dogs). It seems as if the production value of his films have dwindled in recent years. what used to be unique, is no longer. it is an “It’s all been done before” kind of mentality to me.
The one Director that deserves my vote for #1 is Christopher Nolan. He not only directs, but writes most of his work as well. Every one of his movies has been amazing. The only reason he did not win at the academy for best Director and Best Picture is because Inception grossed too much money. Once a movie grosses a certain amount, the Academy sees it as being a commercial movie, not an artistic one. Nolan has successfully done both with each of his movies.
Memento (2000)- Nolan somehow manages to take a simple idea of revenge, and put his own twist on it. After an assault, a man with short-term memory loss tries to track down his wifes killer. He loses his memory every five minutes, so he leaves notes and tattoos himself with clues to where and who the killer was. This whole movie is shot in reverse as well. How many Directors have successfully done that? Only one that i know of.
Batman Begins (2005) Starring Christian Bale, Michael Cane, Morgan Freeman, Katie Holmes. We all know the story of Batman. He is one of the most known superheroes out there. Between the television series and the anthology of movies throughout the 80’s and 90’s, there is no better adaptation than what Nolan has created. Nolan took a darker route with this modernized hero; which was risky, but seemed to be exactly what the audience wanted. The only mistake hey made was casting Katie Holmes for the role of Rachel.
The Prestige (2006) Starring Hugh Jackman, Christian Bale, Michael Cain and Scarlett Johannson. This tells the story of two Victorian magicians who after an accident, become rivals. One successfully performs the “ultimate” illusion, and the other, who is consumed by hate will stop at nothing to figure out the secret behind it. The Prestige is the third act of any magic trick, with the first and second acts being the Pledge and the Turn. The way the movie plays out, it’s like a huge magic trick, with the audience waiting to see how it unfolds, getting the suspicion on how it’s done, but yet sitting through it thorough engaged to discover how everything will be revealed and resolved.
The Dark Knight (2008) Starring Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Aaron Eckhart. The sequel to 2005s Batman Begins. This starts right where the first one left off. Batman, Gordon and Harvey Dent are forced to deal with the chaos unleashed by an anarchist mastermind known only as the Joker, as he drives each of them to their limits. This movie simply amazed me. Unfortunately when it was released, I was in bootcamp so I had to wait a few months. It was well worth it. This movie was roughly 2.5 hours in duration. I wish it were 3 hours longer. The characters and the acting in this movie are really what made it all come together. I was a skeptic when I found out they were casting Heath as the joker. As everyone is aware, he executed perfection with the role. Heath gets most of the credit, but Nolan should as well. The direction he was going in with the joker was completely different than the original. This Joker was scarier and more chaotic, while still finding a way to be humourous.
Inception (2010) Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Ellen Paige. In a world where technology exists to enter the human mind through dream invasion, a highly skilled thief is given a final chance at redemption which involves executing his toughest job to date: Inception. Nolan keeps improving himself, with an even more complex and multilayer script like this. I thought Memento was hard to reach by most of the viewers, but no. Inception will keep you mesmerized and captivated by the genius, that’s hidden behind it. Not just directors and screenwriters (or with other words-Nolan), but with acting and sound-and effects and editing as well. The background music from the plane ride until the end of the movie successfully captivated every emotion i was feeling, and put it into a musical form. A lot of viewers criticized the way he ended it. To me, it was perfect. One of the goals for a Director is to keep viewers talking about their movie after it is over. Love it or hate it, This movie, and the different possible scenarios were discussed all over the web. Well done.
Unlike Tarantino, Nolan can apply his genius and take a movie in any direction he desires. Tarantino, although great, seems to limit himself to a particular genre. Many other Directors have one hit wonders, but Nolan has been consistant with his brilliance. I am looking forward to the Dark Knight Rises. I am sure he will not disappoint.