Everyone hates Tom Hooper. They hate his new movie, Les Misérables. They hate his stupid face. But most of all, people hate the way Hooper frames (or doesn’t frame) his shots. You see, Mr. Hooper knows what an auteur is and he wants to be recognized as one. The best way to do that, of course, is the create a consistent visual technique. Wes Anderson has his meticulous production design, colours and centred framing. J.J. Abrams has his anamorphic lens flares. Tom Hooper has his own style, too.
You’ll often recognize a Tom Hooper film by some of these awful visual crutches:
Dutch angles for no reason:
Close-ups with crazy wide-angle lenses:
Subjects on the side of frame, with out-of-focus dead space surrounding:
And sometimes all three traits at once!
Some of these shots look better than others, and frankly they might all be alright if only Hooper didn’t rely on these techniques for almost every single shot in his movies. What to him might seem unique and artistic, comes off as lazy and obnoxious to us.
Of course, many people love Tom Hooper’s films, including the way they look. (The American Society of Cinematographers nominated Les Miz for Best Cinematography!) So I got to thinking, what if other directors shot their movies like Tom Hooper? What if the best movies of all time took the “Tom Hooper” approach?
What if Tom Hooper directed your favorite movies?
I asked the question, and I answered it myself. Prepare yourself. (Any suicidal thoughts are understandable, but just remember, these aren’t real.)
The Silence of the Lambs:
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind:
Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans:
Back to the Future:
I am so sorry. I really am.