We often hear about an actor’s range and praise them for working in a variety of genres, etc. Rarely, however, do we hear the same praise for directors. Sam Mendes is one of those directors who never does the same thing twice. His debut film, 1999’s American Beauty was a slice of life family drama. It went on to win five Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director. His second film, 2002’s Road To Perdition was a period crime drama. In 2005 he made the dark comedy/war drama Jarhead. Three years later was the 2008 literary adaptation/period drama Revolutionary Road, which he followed up less than six months later with the indie dramedy Away We Go. Each of these films is so different from the other, but what they all have in common is Mendes’ strong direction, resulting in a plethora of amazing, complicated, compelling performances.
I finally got to see The Hurt Locker today. I absolutely loved it. I am a big fan of War films and I’d put this one up there with my favorites, namely The Thin Red Line and The Longest Day.
Although I’ve yet to see Avatar, I do not want it to win Best Picture. I know I should reserve judgement until I’ve seen it. But I do not see how it can be as good as either The Hurt Locker or Up In The Air. To quote Quentin Tarantino “This CGI bullshit is the death knell of cinema. If I’d wanted all that computer game bullshit, I’d have stuck my dick in a Nintendo.”