Best Director is such a difficult category. Assuming you even ascribe to the auteur theory, then it should follow that a person’s favorite film means that the director is therefore the “Best Director” of the year. And yet there’s more too it than that. There’s different challenges, different visions, and while the whole notion of bringing competition into artistic evaluation is a disgusting can of worms, at the end of the year, we still want to celebrate the filmmakers who did something truly extraordinary.
2015 brought us no shortage of these visionary directors, and Brian Formo and I had a tough time deciding who would make our final cut of five and our top selection for the year. However, after a brief back-and-forth, the choices were clear, and while they’re bound to spark discussion, we hope that it will be a healthy one to lead people to other filmmakers beyond just our list and our winner, who happens to be…
BEST DIRECTOR – George Miller, Mad Max: Fury Road
Mad Max: Fury Road should be roadkill. Given all of the difficulties the film faced–the strenuous production, the unique presentation of the script, and even going out to be just one long chase scene–the film should be a disaster and no one would have been surprised if Miller was sent back to Happy Feet 3 to lick his wounds.
Instead, he absolutely blew us all away with a film that will continue to inspire fans and filmmakers alike for decades to come. The fact that he could still show everyone else how it’s done with a franchise he began back in 1979 is a testament to his staying power, and flexibility as a filmmaker. Even at age 70, Miller is riding eternal, shiny and chrome.
- Todd Haynes – Carol
- Marielle Heller – Diary of a Teenage Girl
- László Nemes – Son of Saul
- Ryan Coogler – Creed
In case you missed our picks for Best Performances of 2015, click here.