I’m always wary of calling any single actor/director/writer the ‘best’ anything. There’s always room for opinion, as any film blogger knows. To roll out a ‘best’ appellation is pretty much guaranteed to bring the fury of the film-going public down upon my hapless head. So perhaps claiming that Guillermo del Toro is the best director working in Hollywood today is a little much … but he’s certainly ONE of the best.
Pacific Rim might be one of the testing grounds for this opinion. Granted that del Toro has not had great box office luck with his big budget films. Granted also that the only reason I’m interested in seeing a movie about robots fighting aliens is solely because of his name under ‘director.’ I trust Guillermo del Toro. With the exception of Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark, he has never let me down as a producer, a writer or a director.
What makes Guillermo del Toro’s work so compelling, so beloved of fanboys and fangirls? What is so damn special about this director, among so many great ones? This is a man with only a few directing credits to his name, far more as a writer or executive producer, yet his stamp appears on so many films today that he’s become an undoubted influence on the way filmmaking is being shaped. Why does his cult following matter? And why will his films continue to matter in years to come?
I’ll tell you why.