David O. Russell
It’s at least worth considering that his little rant has less to do with his dislike of films about women than his dislike of quote-unquote Art Films. …Read More
It was hard to imagine exactly the angle David O. Russell would be going for with Joy, the film loosely based on Joy Mangano, the woman who invented the Miracle Mop, Huggable Hangers and Forever Fragrant: would it be a straightforward semi-inspirational biopic à la La Vie en Rose, but where the cathartic moment of swelling artistry came from the construction “of the original cotton self-wringing mop that’ll clean that mess again and again and again?” Likely not (I’ve been told, in fact, that it’s “not a biopic”).
Watch the Trailer For Jake Gyllenhaal, Jessica Biel, and David O. Russell’s Lost Film, Formerly Known as ‘Nailed’
Is this the year that we finally see what David O. Russell’s lost screwball comedy, formerly known as Nailed, now …Read More
A new year is upon us, and a peek ahead at 2015’s cinematic offerings is… well, kinda depressing. As you peruse the many 2015 preview pieces on movie sites, there’s a noticeable sameness — namely because they’re chock full of sequels. And some of those sequels (The Avengers, Mad Max, The Hunger Games, Pitch Perfect, Magic Mike, Mission: Impossible, and, yes, Star Wars) might be great! But their domination of said lists speaks to the weakness of said lists; we’re banking anticipation almost exclusively on known quantities, from earlier films and filmmakers. And with Sundance and the rest of the spring festivals still on the horizon, we can’t yet guess at the smaller sleepers. BUT, nonetheless, we present this look at a few slightly off-the-grid and out-of-the-box movies that might be worth talking about this …Read More
Tomorrow night, we’ll finally be able to cash in on those Oscar bets when the best of Hollywood are honored at the 86th Academy Awards. Nine feature films created by some of the greatest directors working today will compete for Best Picture gold. We’ve selected ten fun and fascinating facts about each movie, recognizing the extreme and sometimes unusual methods these filmmakers and stars employed to create a memorable motion picture.
No matter what you thought of American Hustle — opinions are greatly divided on that one — I think we could all come to a quiet agreement that David O. Russell is not the same filmmaker he used to be. I will cop to being in the camp that found Hustle a bit boring, really. It contained lingering traces of the trademark Russell neurotic eccentricity, of course. But mostly those items found their embodiment in the hairstyles of the male leads, Bradley Cooper wandering around in those ridiculous curlers and Christian Bale with his anachronistic hairspray. As I was watching, I kept thinking that there had to be some irony in the fact that the most recognizable Russellian factors were, quite explicitly, located in the cosmetic.
If there was a more influential American motion picture in the last 25 years than Martin Scorsese’s Goodfellas, I can’t think of it. Scorsese’s 1990 organized crime epic was a razzle-dazzle stew of black comedy, gangster cool, hyper-linked narrative, and stunningly confident technique, reestablishing its director as a moviemaking god and leaving film geeks agog. You can see its fingerprints all over Boogie Nights, The Sopranos, Donnie Brasco, Pulp Fiction, and all of that film’s imitators (not to mention much of Scorsese’s subsequent filmography, particularly Casino and The Departed). And it seems like every review, positive or negative, of American Hustle has drawn a not-exactly-recondite line from Scorsese to director David O. Russell, who wears the master’s influence on his sleeve: it is, after all, a two-plus-hour fact-based ‘70s crime picture, filled with insane period costumes and hair, battling voice-overs, gliding camera-work, a button-pushing pop music score, and even a Robert De Niro cameo. Nobody’s cracking any code by pinpointing the Scorsese influence, and we’ve had plenty of opportunities to see how easy it is to make an imitation Scorsese movie. What matters is if the good ones (and I’d include Hustle in that group) go beyond the influence.