The Valero Verdict: 2020 Mid-Year Best Director


2020 has been a whirlwind of a year as a collective whole. The year in film has been even more strange. The last movie I saw in theaters was Bloodshot, and while I didn’t hate that experience, I didn’t think that was going to be my last theater visit for TBD.

So today, I am going to continue my half-year Oscar nominations with the Best Director category. Before I do that, I took to Twitter/Reddit to see what we’re other’s favorite movies of the year were, and here are some of the answers I got.

Jared Webb (Twitter) Rose Glass – Saint Maud, Julia Hart – Stargirl and Spike Lee – Da Five Bloods

From @ReadySteadyCut M.N. Miller – said Shannon Murphy – Babyteeth – “This is simply a stunning feature, debut or not, by Murphy. It works as a comedy about waking up to life from deep slumber and as a drama that opens your eyes to what’s important in life or vice versa. It grabs your attention and leaves you to ponder its devastatingly effective conclusion (that score by Amanda Brown, I swear, makes the hair on your arms stand up). It leaves you with the feeling of pure elation and palpable regret. Babyteeth will surely be remembered as one of the year’s very best films.”

The Valero Verdict: Best Director Nominees

5. Corneliu Porumboiu – The Whistlers

Ordinarily, films that are made this complex have a hard time coming back together at the end. However, writer/director Porumboiu was able to tie all the loose ends together. He also engaged us with this wonderfully written film that showed corruptness with deadpan comedy sprinkled in.

The Whistlers is one of those films that leaves audiences exhausted, in the best possible way. It keeps viewers on the edge of their seats, wondering who’s deceiving who, who’s going to kill who and how this will end.

4. Spike Lee – Da 5 Bloods

Da 5 Bloods hits its stride more in the last hour of the film. It finds its groove that I wish it would have in the first hour and a half. Between the runtime and the overbearing score, it took away what could have been a great film. Lindo is hands down going to walk away with a TON of film nominations this fall and rightfully so as he was the heartbeat of this film. I wish I would have been able to experience this film inside the movie theater.

3. Oz Perkins – Gretel & Hansel

I was intrigued by the way Perkins decided to have a slow build because you could easily lose your viewer by doing this. He stuck to the plan and executed well. The focus was Gretel and his character development of her was great.

2. Jason Orley – Big Time Adolescence

The importance of this film will be overshadowed by the fact that Pete Davidson was also killer in The King of Staten Island. BTA is phenomenally directed film that we need to recognize.

1. Judd Apatow – The King of Staten Island

The King of Staten Island is damn near perfect. The film provides the perfect combo of drama/comedy, the acting from all parties is remarkable, and the direction was top-notch. The movie felt important, it felt like a film that was made with a purpose, and for that, I love it.

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Tell me what you thought of the movie, hit me up on here or talk to me on Twitter @RickyValero_

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