By Jeff Berman
A sentiment I’ve heard expressed from many artists is that you don’t always get recognized for what you should. Both critics and the public tend to digest certain material easier, yet this doesn’t mean that material is the artist’s best work. Film, an artistic medium with a clear commercial component, is obviously a part of this dynamic. This list contains 10 directors I feel have had their best work undervalued by critics.
Some guidelines for this list: By critically acclaimed, I mean consensus from film critics, award nominations, and presence on significant lists (AFI, Sight and Sound, etc). It’s not the most cut and dry definition, so you may disagree with me on what exactly is a directors most acclaimed. I did try, though, to select directors where it was both more obvious, and where my pick is not a part of what most consider their best.
Also, the order is loosely where I’d rank these directors, but I wouldn’t put too much emphasis on that. My number one pick is the only real intentional ranking, as I felt it most deviates from the critics.
10. Jason Reitman – Young Adult
Reitman had a hot start to his career. Thank You for Smoking, Juno, and Up in the Air were all well-received, the latter two even nominated for Best Picture. Yet his fourth film, Young Adult, is the best of them all. I’d attribute its less than stellar reception to an unlikeable lead character, and an ambitious, yet tough to swallow ending.
Despite what critics might suggest, these wind up being some of the film’s greatest strengths. Sure, main character Mavis Gary (brilliantly played Charlize Theron) is a world-class asshole, but she’s an entertaining and interesting asshole. Reitman slowly and cleverly reveals her demons, → continue…
From:: Taste Of Cinema