Weekend Chatter: Steven Soderbergh Plans to Retire. What's His Best Film?
Steven Soderbergh has gone on record as saying that Side Effects, which opens in theaters this weekend, will be his last theatrical release, and that he will retire after he delivers a planned Liberace biopic to HBO.
The filmmaker has been at it for 25 years, bursting on the scene with the Sundance hit Sex, Lies and Videotape before moving on to log a steady balance of modest-budget indies and star-studded genre efforts.
Most filmmakers would love to have even one of Soderbergh’s masterpieces on their resume. What impresses me most about the director’s body of work, though, is his versatility in multiple genres. Soderbergh seemed just as comfortable directing George Clooney and Brad Pitt in three Ocean’s movies as he was experimenting with digital photography for small movies like Bubble.
Soderbergh is a critical darling. But that didn’t mean his movies didn’t make money, too. And for a stretch of his career, the Academy bought into everything that he served. In fact, in 2000, Soderbergh holds the distinction of nabbing two of the five Best Director nominations at the Academy Awards after helming Erin Brokovich and Traffic in the same year. He took the Oscar home for Traffic.
I honestly don’t believe that Soderbergh is finished as a filmmaker. Yes, he might “retire” for a while, but eventually, his need to create will reel him back to directing.
But, if he’s honest about Side Effects being his last film, I wonder: What Steven Soderbergh movie would you consider his best? Is it Traffic, which won him the Oscar? Is it Out of Sight, or one of the Ocean’s movies? Or did he peak at the start of his career with the provocative with Sex, Lies?
Take a closer look at Soderbergh's filmography to refresh your memory about his accomplishments. If you had to pick one film as the quintessential Soderbergh film, which one would it be, and why?
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Sean O'ConnellFandango Bloggers
Sean is a film reviewer for The Washington Post and daily contributor to Fandango.