from my experience people who like Gus Van Sant very much are people who just like his movies because it's been labelled "cool" and "indie" to like them. Like I'm a rebel if I like him. His movies are boring and they often don't even make you feel anything but still people pretend to like them because no one wants to be labelled stupid just because the emperor has no clothes, so most people pretend he's a genius.
It's like Mulholland Drive. I think it's the worst piece of **** in the history of cinema but still people say it's genius because they are too afraid to face the music and see that the ****ing emperor has his dick and balls out in the air for everyone to see. It's a really really bad movie. There is a very fine line between genius and utter charlatan who makes **** work and I think that Van Sant often fits in the latter.
The only movie I like of his is To Die For, because to say it bluntly, IT HAS A PLOT, something that most of his movies lack. And also because of Nicole Kidman's GENIUS PERFORMANCE in that movie. That movie would be nothing if Nicole hadn't been in it. She should've been nominated for the oscars, I think she wasn't, it was totally overlooked and it was a great movie, but not entirely because of Van Sant, more because of Nicole. And I'm aware that an actor's performance depends largely on the director, but c'mon that was like the first time Nicole showed her real acting skills, she's just amazing.