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Tag: David O. Russell (1-10 of 24)

David O. Russell talks about 'American Hustle,' being 'reborn' as a director -- EXCLUSIVE

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

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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

David O. Russell eyes Jennifer Lawrence for 'Miracle Mop' role -- REPORT

David O. Russell is reportedly in early talks to rewrite and direct a biopic about Joy Mangano, the Miracle Mop inventor, for Fox 2000, and he’s eying Jennifer Lawrence to play the lead role. Deadline reports that Russell is interested in taking over the project from Annie Mumulo, the Bridesmaids co-writer who has a script about Mangano, the Long Island single mom who made a fortune when the Miracle Mop became an infomercial success.

Lawrence and Russell have successfully collaborated on his two last movies, winning her an Oscar for The Silver Linings Playbook and a nomination for American Hustle.

Representatives for neither Russell nor Lawrence immediately responded to requests for comment.

Directors Guild Awards: Alfonso Cuaron wins for 'Gravity'

UPDATED: Gravity does not seem to be falling on the awards circuit. Alfonso Cuarón walked away with the top honor at the Directors Guild of America Awards Saturday night in Los Angeles, beating out Martin Scorsese, David O. Russell, Paul Greengrass, and Steve McQueen.

“This is truly an honor and I am humbled by it,” Cuarón said to the audience of his peers after last year’s winner Ben Affleck presented him with the award. But Gravity was not the work of just one mind, and no one knows that more keenly than Cuarón. “Directing is about the work of your collaborators,” he said. Earlier in the evening, when Gravity was spotlighted amongst the five Feature Film nominees, Cuarón thanked his team including his first assistant director Josh Robertson, co-writer (and son) Jonas Cuarón, his cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki, and his visual effects team. Then he said: “I barely understand how we made the film.” The audience laughed uproariously.

The DGA Awards are generally a pretty decent indicator for who will walk away with the Best Director Oscar. Comprised of over 15,000 voting members, the Directors Guild does have a tendency to skew more mainstream when compared with the choices of the 377 voting members of the Directors branch in the Academy. But in the past ten years, the DGA winner has gone on to win the Oscar 90% of the time. In fact, in 65 years, only 7 DGA winners failed to win the Academy Award. Last year, however, was a major outlier when Ben Affleck won the DGA for Argo after he’d failed to pick up an Oscar nomination.

The DGA did deviate from the Oscars in other fairly significant ways last year. The nominees only matched 2 out of the 5 Oscar nominees. This year, it was 4 out of 5. Captain Phillips director Paul Greengrass was the odd man out — the Academy included Alexander Payne for his work on Nebraska instead.

For Cuarón, the win only seems to add to his awards momentum. In addition to a host of Film Critics awards, Cuarón also won a Golden Globe earlier this month.

The DGA doesn’t just honor features, though. Oscar nominee Jehane Noujaim picked up an award for her documentary The Square, Steven Soderbergh won for Behind the Candelabra, and Vince Gilligan was recognized for directing the Breaking Bad finale “Felina.” Check out the full list of winners from the 66th Annual DGA Awards after the jump.

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The classic film reference you may have missed in 'American Hustle' -- VIDEO

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.

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From 'Hustle' to 'Mr. Banks,' this season's movies hit musical highs

When you think of the movies you really love, your memories of a great many of them are probably linked, in one way or another, to music. Yet movies and music remain, at least in our heads, beautifully complimentary yet distinct things, like food and wine, or football and big TVs. They shouldn’t, though. A musical, of course, is its own special mashup. Yet there are so many other incredible ways that movies and music can merge. The title sequence of Singin’ in the Rain is a great number — and so, in its way, is Ewan McGregor’s performance of “Your Song” in Moulin Rouge! Yet what about the opening-credits sequence of American Hustle? We hear Steely Dan’s great 1972 song “Dirty Work” laid over slow-motion images of Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper, and Amy Adams sauntering through the Plaza Hotel with a suspicious-looking briefcase. The song is reconfigured, with an irony that gently explodes in your brain, from being about an adulterous lover tired of being used as a slimy third wheel into a song about a con man tired of being used by the law. More that just a terrific song choice, this, too, is a bona fide musical number — a piece of opera, really. And it’s just one of many moments in American Hustle that remind you why movies and music, when they’re really working together, chemically and synergistically, create a sensual pop poetry all their own. Here’s a look at a few of the other memorable numbers unfolding in the big-screen operas-by-any-other-name that are ruling the megaplex this season. READ FULL STORY

David O. Russell on 'American Hustle' and the elephant at the Globes (it's... a comedy?)

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.”
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On the scene with Amy Adams, Bradley Cooper, Louis C.K., and David O. Russell at the 'American Hustle' premiere

Damn, it must feel good to be a hustler. Coming off a  New York Film Critics Circle best picture win and whispers of Oscars buzzing in the air, the stars of American Hustle celebrated the film’s world premiere Sunday night at New York’s Ziegfeld Theater.

Inspired by the 1978 Abscam scandal in which the FBI set up a sting operation to capture corrupt political officials, the dramedy started off as a kernel of an idea in the mind of screenwriter and executive producer Eric Warren Singer 15 years ago. But for him, the movie all started with one character — irresistibly charming con man Irving Rosenfeld, played by Christian Bale. READ FULL STORY

'American Hustle' TV spot: 'Good Times Bad Times' for Christian Bale and Amy Adams -- VIDEO

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.

Click below for the latest Zeppelin inspired teaser for American Hustle, which opens in theaters on Dec. 13. READ FULL STORY

'American Hustle' trailer: Bradley Cooper gets a perm, Christian Bale gets a belly

Everything is cloaked in the gritty, suffocating glamour of sequins, cigarette smoke, high-stakes cons and hairspray in the newest trailer for David O. Russell’s American Hustle. Stars Bradley Cooper, Christian Bale, Jennifer Lawrence, and Amy Adams are in perfect 1970s form — especially Cooper in those hair curlers.

Russell’s ensemble drama follows a con artist (Bale) and his partner (Adams) as they team up with an eager FBI agent (Cooper) to expose other players of the Camden, New Jersey underworld. Lawrence is all grown up in the trailer below and Jeremy Renner, Robert De Niro, and Louis C.K. also appear in the star-studded period pic.

Check out the latest trailer, featuring the Electric Light Orchestra anthem “10538 Overture.”

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