The Top Directors Working Today: Guillermo del Toro

As a director, Guillermo del Toro makes me giddy. He's wildly creative, usually a lot of fun and knows how to capture indelible images on camera. He's a great storyteller. His artistic one-two of The Devil's Backbone and Pan's Labyrinth have garnered the respect and acclaim, but I really enjoy his more commercial fare.

Hellboy and (especially) Blade II were fairly weak in the script department, but I'm talking about directing and del Toro gave those films a lot more style, originality and creative energy than you would have expected. His visions are not timid (that also applies to Mimic and Chronos) and if you've ever listened to his audio commentary, he seems to be having just as much fun as what he puts on screen.

For some, del Toro wouldn't be worth talking about if not for Pan's Labyrinth. I wasn't as overwhelmed by his work on Pan, because I always knew he had it in him. A great director who is just beginning to get respect.

According to the poll on he's on his way, but quite a few remain unconvinced.

31% think he's a Great director and will watch whatever he makes.
19% think he's Great, but prefer his art-house fare.
4% think he's Great, but prefer his genre films
12% only like his art-house films.
4% only like his commercial films.
31% are not impressed yet.

He has the rare skill of directing child actors, something you dont see often these days. His other rare skill is the ability to use special effects without having them overtake the movie (looking at you Lucas).

This guy is the best. Good call on the commentaries, too. He is crazy smart.

I think I like del Toro in theory more than in practice. Pan's Labyrinth and, oddly, Blade II aside, all of his movies feel like they're missing something. Devil's Backbone felt as if there was a more affecting movie in there (which he ended up making with Pan's). I just kept waiting for Hellboy to get going and it never did. As good as Pan's was, I still think that he has yet to make a masterpiece. But it's definitely on the way.

I agree he has style - I disagree on his story telling abillity. Everyone of the films I've seen gets deductions for falling into a rut and becoming boring about 2/3 of the way thru. I also don't think he coaxes the best performances out of his Actors, esp the "stars" (see Blade II).

Guillermo... you can move me to tears simply by killing a child. Truly, you are a master.


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