3. Wes Anderson
Does anyone with the aggressively goofy The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou on his resume belong on this list, especially if it’s the same guy who made the aggressively dull The Darjeeling Limited? Yes, because Anderson has an originality of vision — quirk to the max — that only Tarantino can match, because Bottle Rocket did so much with so little, because Rushmore and The Royal Tenenbaums are among the best films of their era, and because Fantastic Mr. Fox was a perfect little jewel, as strange and pretty and funny as childhood itself. Keeping it simple, Anderson had a big arthouse hit this summer with the lightly engaging adolescent fable Moonrise Kingdom, which seems certain to earn him another screenwriting Oscar nomination.