David O. Russell

10 Fun and Fascinating Facts About the 2014 Oscar-Nominated Films

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. … Read More

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I Miss the Old, Weird, Messy David O. Russell

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. … Read More

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Why ‘American Hustle’ Is Much More Than Just Scorsese-Lite

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. … Read More

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25 More Dysfunctional Families on Film

Last week, we shared a list of some entertaining movies about dysfunctional families. But the closer we got to Thanksgiving, as we made plans to head home for turkey and awkward moments in which we avoid talking about politics with our extended family, the more we realized that we missed a few great films that feature families that make our own look pretty normal in comparison. Take a look at this second round of fights, tears, breakups, and breakdowns for some fun tips on how not to act at dinner next… Read More

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Staff Picks: Flavorwire’s Favorite Cultural Things This Week

Need a great book to read, album to listen to, or TV show to get hooked on? The Flavorwire team is here to help: in this weekly feature, our editorial staffers recommend the cultural object or experience they’ve enjoyed most in the past seven days. Click through for our picks, and tell us what you’ve been loving in the comments. … Read More

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Hollywood’s All-Time Most Memorable Meltdowns

That Kanye West, he just keeps on giving. Gawker has gotten its hands on a surreptitiously recorded audiotape of West having a rather nonsensical meltdown after the Tyler Swift-VMA debacle back in 2009. It’s a pretty entertaining bit of tape, and it immediately reminded this viewer of the notorious David O. Russell tape, and other movie-related throwdowns. After the jump, a roundup of the most notorious tempter tantrums in movies — both on-screen and off. … Read More

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Great Movies With Embarrassingly Bad DVD Art

You can’t judge a book by its cover, as we’ve recently discovered with not only books, but also music. That holds true with film as well — not just with movie posters, which have their own problematic elements, but when it comes time to sell you the movie in physical form. For years, DVD distributors have uglified some of our favorite movies — often even eschewing the classy and striking movie posters for Photoshopped, Frankensteined monstrosities of their own making, designed to move units at all costs. We’ve assembled some of the ugliest and most terrifying DVD images for movies we actually like — and provided their original posters as well, just so you can see how far they can fall. … Read More

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