My Top 5 Director/Actor Duos

1. Martin Scorsese/Robert DeNiro

Films: GoodFellas, Mean Streets, Raging Bull, Taxi Driver, The King of Comedy, Casino, Cape Fear, New York, New York

I can boldly say Martin Scorsese and Robert DeNiro are the greatest Director/Actor duo of all time. The variety of movies these two have compiled have been stellar, bold, and challenging. Scorsese has brought the best out of DeNiro, and in return DeNiro has created a legendary career for Scorsese. While DeNiro has shifted his focus to independent films and mushy scripts, Scorsese is still rolling along building his legacy. Most recently Scorsese released “Hugo” something his child could finally watch in the theaters without parental guidance. But don’t fear DeNiro fans, rumor is he may have one last go around with Marty in a movie titled “The Irishman.” De Niro does believe it will happen, and the epic cast could include Joe Pesci, Harvey Keitel, and Al Pacino! Movie fans around the world pray this comes to fruition.

2. Tim Burton/Johnny Depp

Films: Edward Scissorhands, Ed Wood, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Sleepy Hollow, Sweeny Todd, Corpse Bride, Alice in Woderland

Dark, gloomy, and oh so “Burton-y.” Tim Burton’s work isn’t for everyone, but the ones that like his work, really like his work. It’s artsy, creative, and impressive. Now I will be the first to admit “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” came nowhere near the original Gene Wilder brilliance, but keep in mind Burton added his twist to the remake, and wasn’t afraid to show it. My favorite from this duo is by far Edward Scissorhands. Depp was fantastic, and the characterization of all the simpletons mixed with this unique individual really created some comical scenarios. No word on what’s next for Depp and Burton, but the last project labeled “Dark Shadows” was a flop that I gladly missed.

3. Joel and Ethan Coen/Frances McDormand

Films: Fargo, Blood Simple, Raising Arizona, Burn After Reading

The Coen brothers are pure genius, and yes you could throw in John Goodman as a pairing, or maybe Steve Buscemi, but it’s not easy to find a good Director/Actress duo. Frances McDormand is a brilliant actress. If you haven’t seen “Fargo” by all means take the pains to rent it. If you have to activate your one month free trial from Netflix do it. It is one of the best female lead roles (which Frances won the Oscar for) I have ever seen, and only Frances McDormand could have pulled it off. McDormand and the Coen brothers are both so quirky and perfect for each other. The unique mixture of morbidly dark humor has been mastered by the Coen brothers.

4. Martin Scorsese/Leonardo DiCaprio 

Films: Gangs of New York, The Aviator, The Departed, Shutter Island

Yes Martin Scorsese cracks my top 5 twice, and yes he deserves it! Scorsese molds greatness, and this is the modern day Marty/DeNiro duo we are seeing now. Leo certainly saw international fame with “The Titanic” but as he churns out films with other brilliant directors,  pairing up with Scorsese is truly majestic. The variety once again shines through these films. Scorsese isn’t slowing down; his next film which is in pre-production will be called “The Wolf of Wall Street” featuring DiCaprio who will play Jordan Belfort a New York stockbroker who faces securities fraud. This is a duo that shows no signs of stopping.

5. Spike Lee/Denzel Washington

Films: He Got Game, Malcolm X, Inside Man, Mo’ Better Blues

We see Spike Lee passionately rooting on his New York Knicks courtside, but he’s not too shabby behind a camera either. Spike is a gutsy director who speaks his mind. Denzel is a straight shooter who loves acting. So why not pair these two together? “He Got Game” is one of my favorite basketball related movies, and Spike’s most recent work with Denzel, “Inside Man” was a fantastic heist film. Highly entertained by this duo, and I hope more is ahead. Denzel has been challenged by Spike, and I think its made him into a legitimate actor. Denzel has bagged two Oscars (Training Day and Glory) while Spike has yet to win one. Denzel is busy wrapping up “Flight” an intriguing film about a pilot who saves a plane from crashing, but is found with alcohol in his system!

One thought on “My Top 5 Director/Actor Duos

  1. what about Kevin Smith and Ben Affleck? Jersey Girl got bad press cause of Gigli but it was cool. Thats one of my favorite tandems Good list, had no idea Tim Burton and Johnny Depp did a lot of movies. Also, never seen Cohen films so I’m not sure on that except for Fargo and that one moved kind of slow for me.

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