With David Fincher’s new Netflix movie The murderer After filming was completed earlier this year, many fans are already excited to see what one of the greatest actor-directors will produce in his latest project. With Paul Thomas Anderson also working on an intriguing new film and Denis Villeneuve working on the second part of Dune, now is a great time to become a movie fan.
That’s because what those directors all have in common is that they’ve produced the best performances from sometimes relatively unknown or underrated actors. With so many great acting directors currently up and running, Reddit was spoiled for choice when it came to suggesting the best in the business.
While he is best known for the striking visuals that often dominate the conversation around his films, especially his recent adaptation of the science fiction epic DuneDenis Villeneuve has also quietly been making great renditions of unexpected actors for years. This has not gone unnoticed by Redditors like Alex45784 who only had to say “Denis Villeneuve” to get enough support.
In Blade Runner 2049, the director managed to reinvigorate a Harrison Ford who has looked tired in many of his recent projects and has probably also convinced many people how good an actor, former wrestler Dave Bautista, can be. Although he now gets to work with some of the best actors in the world, the director has never needed it.
While it’s easy to see how great contemporary directors are at getting great performances from actors, it can be more difficult when the director in question produced their best work in the ’50s. Luckily Redditors love AemiGrant make sure that legendary director Elia Kazan is not forgotten by saying, “You all sleep on Elia Kazan. He could get a great performance from you in his sleep.”
Kazan’s short career as an actor himself gave him the perfect insight to understand what other actors need to improve their performances, even if it sometimes led to unconventional practices. However, his success in this matter is self-evident and makes memorable film debut for the likes of Marlon Brando and Andy Griffith.
The Safdie Brothers
While Uncut Gemstones While perhaps not yet considered a classic, there’s no doubting the talents of Josh and Benny Safdie, the brothers who directed the critically acclaimed crime thriller. The brothers previously directed good time, which starred Robert Pattinson in one of his best performances for The Batman this year.
However, Uncut Gemstones is definitely why Redditor quandale dingle got so much agreement by simply saying “The Safdie Brothers” as a suggestion. Starring a multiple Razzie-nominated actor in Adam Sandler, many were stunned to see him killed in a dramatic performance and thought the brothers deserve some of the credit for that.
Many directors make sure they get great performances by only working with established actors and using the same actors in different movies. That’s why Sean Baker stands out as one of the few who takes up the challenge of doing the exact opposite. redditor crazy__high explains why that works in his favor.
They describe how he somehow manages to get “incredible performances from non-actors/first-time actors in The Florida Project and its other movies.” Bakery The Florida Project is certainly his best-known example, as he manages to get memorable performances from amateurs and child actors to tell a dark coming-of-age story.
While Reddit’s movie buffs often express their appreciation for directors with a penchant for the weird and the surreal, it’s still impressive how much David Lynch’s name came up in discussions of great actor-directors. redditor Ice_Star_303 explains why he is so highly regarded in this field, saying, “Each performance is almost perfect for its part of the story.”
While it’s no surprise that Lynch can bring his bizarre visions to life in his most rewatchable films like eraser cup and Mulholland Drivewhat is astonishing is how he manages to bring his actors along, often with performances that no other director could achieve.
Martin Scorsese has been producing some of the most acclaimed films for decades and a big part of that is the incredible performances he gets from his actors. redditor BigBossPM was spoiled for choice when it came to citing examples of this, saying, “Just think Taxi Driver, the Wolf of Wall Street, King of comedy, etc.”
His reputation for giving a lot of freedom has allowed him to build amazing relationships with incredible actors over the years. These include Robert De Niro, with whom he has worked on films such as Cab driver and the Irishmanand Leonardo DiCaprio, on movies like Gangs of New York and The Wolf of Wall Street. Not many directors can boast of such massive collaborators and the director seems to enjoy getting the best out of them.
While many of the directors considered the best at producing great actors’ performances are also some of the biggest names in Hollywood, it’s possible that fewer people know about English indie director Mike Leigh. However, he has quite a number of devoted fans, with one user, vinesaying: “Mike Leigh is the director’s best actor and there is little to no competition.”
Those who had witnessed some of his critically acclaimed films, including the black comedy drama naked and the drama Secrets and Lies, quickly agreed with this sentiment. Many English actors such as Gary Oldman and Timothy Spall may not have found the success they had if Mike Leigh hadn’t brought the best out of them early in their film careers.
Fincher is a director known for being a perfectionist, so it’s no surprise that he applies that same strict eye to his actors’ performances as well. The director produced some of Brad Pitt’s career-best performances in fight club and Jake Gyllenhaal in Zodiac but while these great actors showed in their element, Redditor dancetroyer rates him highly for another reason.
According to them, the best argument for his ability to get the most out of his cast is the fact that he was able to “give us great performances from Tyler Perry and Justin Timberlake.” By convincingly getting actors who aren’t rated so highly on screen, Fincher achieves something truly impressive.
Paul Thomas Anderson
Paul Thomas Anderson regularly makes lists of the greatest directors of all time thanks to a sizable back catalog of films such as Boogie nightslicorice pizza and The teacher all of which are favorites among movie buffs. Reddit particularly honors the director and, when user bone coob Anderson’s name brought up, he got no lack of approval.
His argument was also convincing because, in addition to producing some Oscar-worthy performances from his regular collaborators such as Philip Baker Hall and Philip Seymour Hoffman, “he even got stunning performances from Adam Sandler and Tom Cruise”. While neither is a bad actor, it’s still incredibly impressive that he always manages to bring out the best in his cast.
There’s only one director Reddit considers the true master of bringing out incredible performances from actors and that’s Darren Aronofsky. redditor monarc explains why that is, explaining: “Darren Aronofsky has pulled over the best career performances of otherwise decent actors with a consistency better than any other director.”
They then pointed to specific performances of actors in Requiem for a dream, Black SwanNatalie Portman’s only Oscar-winning performance, and Mother!, which showed Jennifer Lawrence at her best as an actor. With such a track record, many had to agree that Darren Aronofsky is the greatest director when it comes to acting performance.
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