• Adam Scott (Parks and Recreation) and Alison Brie (Community) are in negotiations to join the womanizer-befriends-a-serial-cheater comedy Sleeping With Other People from writer-director Leslye Headland (who Scott worked with on Bachelorette). Kirsten Dunst was previously set to star alongside Jason Sudeikis but had to drop out. Brie would be replacing Dunst. Sudeikis is still involved. [THR] READ FULL STORY
Tag: Christian Bale (11-20 of 69)
American Hustle director David O. Russell likes sports analogies, which are actually surprisingly helpful in trying to describe his theory on aggressively spontaneous acting. “You see a batter or a basketball player when they’re stuck on something in their heads, that’s not good,” says Russell, who’s “coached” the casts of his last three movies to 11 Oscar nominations, including statues for Christian Bale (The Fighter), Jennifer Lawrence (The Silver Linings Playbook), and Melissa Leo (The Fighter). “Once you have a good focus, you want to keep it. You want to stay in that zone, so you want to work briskly and from instinct. It’s almost like a superstitious thing.”
There’s nothing superstitious, however, about Russell’s recent run of success. American Hustle, which arrived on Blu-ray on Tuesday, was his biggest box-office hit of his career. The star-studded 1970s period piece about a married conman (Christian Bale) and his lover (Amy Adams) who are manipulated by an ambitious FBI agent (Bradley Cooper) to create an ABSCAM-like sting to implicate corrupt government officials, including the mayor of Camden, New Jersey (Jeremy Renner), was an actors’ showcase that also included Lawrence, Robert De Niro, and Jack Huston. The laugh-filled drama landed 10 Oscar nominations, and Russell became the first director to ever direct a film with four actors earning Oscar nominations in each of the acting categories, twice — much less back-to-back.
Russell plans to stay in his zone. He’s currently writing another script for Lawrence, as well as “another big story I’m writing for many of these cast members that I don’t want to talk about yet.”
But he’s happy to talk about American Hustle, which character he thinks is the heart of the film, his unique approach to directing actors, and his understanding that all his success can vanish tomorrow. READ FULL STORY
'American Hustle' Blu-ray: Christian Bale urges Amy Adams to 'cry British' -- EXCLUSIVE DELETED SCENE
Because of David O. Russell’s spontaneous directing style, a movie like American Hustle is sure to be a treasure trove of deleted scenes. As such, fans of the hit movie, which grossed $149.3 million and earned 10 Oscar nominations, will not be disappointed by the new Blu-ray, out Tuesday, March 18. For a movie that is so much about the acting, it’s fascinating to see the slight variations and wrinkles that the cast experiments with in the 11 deleted or extended scenes.
Remember the montage where Jennifer Lawrence housecleans to “Live and Let Die” as her husband’s elaborately orchestrated ruse begins to unravel — due to her lack of discretion? Well, the Blu-ray has that entire lip-synced performance, as well as a similar version set to Santana’s “Evil Ways.”
There’s also an epilogue for the film that features voiceover from Jeremy Renner’s convicted Camden mayor. Renner was the odd-actor out when it came to year-end awards, but for my money, his performance was one of the film’s highlights. More than any of the other characters, I thought Renner’s Mayor Carmine Polito, who’s sucked into the FBI sting arranged by compromised cons Irving Rosenfeld (Bale) and Sydney Prosser (Adams), really existed in this world — even if his hair defied gravity.
Perhaps Renner’s final soliloquy was cut because the story truly belongs to Irving and Sydney, two partners in love and crime who are only slightly smarter than the feds on their tail. In this exclusive deleted scene, filmed during the sequence where Sydney — or Lady Edith Greensly — vows to use all of her charm to con Richie (Bradley Cooper) after Irving refuses to leave the country with her, Irving pleads with her to finish this one last scam as the British lady she pretends to be. “You have to hold on to what we made,” he says before pleading. “You can cry British.”
Watch the scene below: READ FULL STORY
In decades of tracking the Academy Awards, I honestly can’t recall any category, in any year, when a race was as fiercely, thrillingly white-hot competitive as this year’s Best Actor race. Just think about it: Not one, not two, not three, but four of the nominees each stands a very real chance of winning. Consider each scenario, and you’ll realize it’s true. When Jennifer Lawrence gets up to present the Best Actor award and tears open that envelope, if she ends up saying, “And the Oscar goes to…Chiwetel Ejiofor for 12 Years a Slave,” it will not be a shock, because Ejiofor, playing a man who endures the torments of the damned, and must hold in his emotions (even as he shows them to us), and must somehow, on top of all that, figure out a way to keep his faith burning, has been justly acclaimed for being incredible beyond words in that movie. If Lawrence says, “And the Oscar goes to…Matthew McConaughey for Dallas Buyers Club,” it will not be a shock, because McConaughey, this year, is the official front-runner, and has been justly coronated for giving a tough, sinewy, moving, and anger-singed performance that is widely viewed as the culminating act of his 20-year career in Hollywood. READ FULL STORY
It’s nearly impossible to talk about American Hustle without addressing the influence of Martin Scorsese. In Owen Gleiberman’s review he wrote: “It’s as if the Scorsese of Goodfellas had been revived, full-throttle, only with a new subject: the hucksterism hiding in the shadows of middle-class America.” The themes, the multiple narrators and the golden oldies soundtrack make the nods impossible to ignore.
But Scorsese is not the only iconic director that David O. Russell pays homage to in his latest pic. It seems as though Russell may have borrowed from Charlie Chaplin as well.
Ever since the Golden Globes — a.k.a. the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, a.k.a. a very small (under 100) group of cultishly enigmatic and otherwise insignificant entertainment-industry journalists from around the world who like getting free drinks and being photographed with movie stars — voted to choose American Hustle as one of their five nominees for Best Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy, there’s been an unofficial debate, played out in reviews and early water-cooler chatter, about whether or not the movie is, in fact, a comedy. I think we can agree that it’s not a musical (though I did love its use of Steely Dan’s “Dirty Work” and that Arabic cover version of “White Rabbit”). To me, it’s not a comedy either, although it did make me laugh a lot. Some critics I hold in high esteem, like Richard Corliss of Time and Manohla Dargis of The New York Times, have said that the movie is, indeed, a comedy. A hundred Talmudic scholars could chew over the question of whether there are enough jokes in American Hustle to leave you giggling on the head of a pin — and if there are, I suppose that would mean that, yes, the movie is a comedy. I personally think that the Golden Globes, trying to smear the wealth around in their usual promiscuous and fun and quasi-mindless way, made a categorical mistake. But in the end, it’s not really a big deal. I’m glad that American Hustle — a great movie, whether it’s a drama or a comedy — got nominated in one of the Globes’ Best Motion Picture categories instead of being left out. That gives it awards momentum. By the time the Oscar nominations come along, no one will remember, or care very much, about whether American Hustle was unfairly branded as a movie that’s fundamentally a laff riot. READ FULL STORY
Breaking: David O. Russell doesn’t think American Hustle is a comedy either.
“I feel like we’re telling stories, characters and stories, that are beyond category,” he told EW shortly after learning about his film’s seven Golden Globe nominations, including one for Best Picture (Musical or Comedy). In his mind, Hustle is tonally similar to his 2010 film The Fighter — which was nominated at the Globes in the Drama category. “Obviously it was a bit less of a comedy,” Russell explains, “but Christian Bale was incredibly funny in that movie. I love to be the director who can bring that out of him, but it’s done from the heart of the dramatic character that he creates. So as far as he and I are concerned, we’re doing a drama.”
READ FULL STORY
Is anyone a better movie actor right now than Christian Bale? (Okay, I’ll give you Daniel Day-Lewis… but it’s close and getting closer.) The 39-year-old Welshman is fully in his prime, demonstrated most recently by two powerful performances landing in the heart of Oscar season. The flashier role might be in David O. Russell’s American Hustle, which doesn’t open until Dec. 20. In Scott Cooper’s Out of the Furnace, which opened Wednesday and expanded Friday, he plays the good-intentioned ex-con whose pursuit of justice — after his ne’er-do-well brother (Casey Affleck) goes missing — puts him on a collision course with a terrifying meth-king hick (Woody Harrelson).
Set around the decaying stacks of Pennsylvania steel mills around the eve of Obama’s 2008 election, Furnace never flinches from its dreary first impression, using Willem Dafoe and Sam Shepard to positive effect as the types of craggled faces who survive this iron underworld. There’s not a lot of hope or change for these characters. As EW’s Chris Nashawaty writes, “Like 1978’s The Deer Hunter, Cooper’s devastating death trip nails the bond between two no-hope men pushed to violent extremes.”
Bale has always been drawn to characters with violent impulses — from Batman to Patrick Bateman to boxer Dicky Eklund in The Fighter. Playing a superhero never seemed to limit his range, but now that he’s free of the cowl for good, it will be fascinating to watch the next phase of his career. The critics seem to think he’s off to a great start.
Before you head to the theater, click below to see what the leading critics are saying about Out of the Furnace.
READ FULL STORY
Sometimes, the right song can make all the difference to establishing a mood for a movie. But the absolutely perfect song can go even further and provide meaning. Director David O. Russell is a connoisseur of music, so it’s probably no accident that the TV spots for his upcoming movie, American Hustle, are set to Led Zeppelin’s “Good Times Bad Times.” Yes, it immediately evokes the setting of the film — the 1970s. But the lyrics are even more insightful for his characters, a coterie of ne’er-do-well con artists, corrupt pols, and compromised cops.
“In the days of my youth, I was told what it means to be a man,
Now I’ve reached that age, I’ve tried to do all those things the best I can.
No matter how I try, I find my way into the same old jam.”
The latest TV spot, titled “Unexpected,” showcases Christian Bale as an amusing con-man hanging on by a thread — much like his marvelous comb-over.
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