This is a little bit bizarre. I’m almost shocked. 13,127 IMDB readers voted to nominate “the best contemporary American director who has never won a Best Director Oscar“, and the two biggest vote-getters were a couple of signature-style “attitude” guys — Quentin Tarantino, a dedicated lazybones and wallower in all things exploitation-y who peaked 13 years ago with Pulp Fiction, and Tim Burton, whose artistic focus from the late ’80s to mid ’90s (Beetlejuice, Batman, Edward Scissorhands, Ed Wood) spoke for itself and obviously contrasts with the fact that he’s been sliding downill since, the lowpoint so far being Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
David Fincher got about a third of the votes that Tarantino got (804 compared to 2777), and Michael Mann — a hard-tack adventurer who’s constantly probing and testing himself, an auteur of the street and macho-ville, a guy who stands head and shoulders above Tarantino and Burton in the eyes of the Movie Gods — ranked sixth with 775 votes. It’s significant that visual flair, punchy attitude-dialogue and a certain fast-foodish, blue-collar commonality are more highly prized and admired than other directors who are really and truly up to something, but whatever. People like what they like and that’s fine, but there’s no accounting for taste.
Terrence Malick ranked eighth with 562 votes, Wes Anderson eleventh with 344 votes, and Alexander Payne 14th with 163 votes…gimme a break.