This fall, Hollywood's next generation of filmmakers comes into its own. Yaran Noti
1. PETER SOLLETT
The Résumé: An NYU film-school grad, the 32-year-old Sollett broke out in 2002 with Raising Victor Vargas, which eschewed drug and drive-by clichés to tell a touching inner-city teenage love story.
The Latest: In Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist, a young rocker pursues a hot girl—only the band is queercore, and the protagonist is a bumbling bass player portrayed by the always-charming Michael Cera.
The Model: Jason Reitman, whose Juno reminded us that 16-year-olds aren't all cut from the same bubble-gum-scented cloth. Sollett goes beyond the clever banter to craft credible stories about puppy love.
The trailer for Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist
2. SEAN ANDERS
The Résumé: Anders, 28, has a short CV: The obscure 2005 feature Never Been Thawed—a hit at the Silver Lake Film Festival—is the lone previous entry.
The Latest: Sex Drive, a can't-get-laid comedy in which getting nookie isn't the be-all and end-all—for the characters or the filmmaker. In fact, compared with the bizarro encounter the hero's best friend (Josh Zuckerman) has with a scat fetishist, virginity looks pretty hot.
The Model: Judd Apatow, in whose comedic fraternity Anders would be the earnest pledge: He doesn't go for cheap belly laughs.
The trailer for Sex Drive
3. RIAN JOHNSON
The Résumé: Employing slick, noir-ish dialogue, the 34-year-old Southern California native made Brick, 2005's high-school whodunit that has more in common with The Maltese Falcon than with Disturbia.
The Latest: The Brothers Bloom, about a pair of grifters played by Mark Ruffalo and Adrien Brody, is a classic con story in every way—except for the mute, destructive Asian sidekick.
The Model: Wes Anderson and his quirky, talky twists on movie conventions—but without the costumery and melancholy.
The trailer for The Brothers Bloom