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January 12, 2014 | By Jessica Gelt
How does David O. Russell manage to so consistently write strong female leads? He's got his mother to thank for that, the director said backstage at the Beverly Hilton Hotel after his film “American Hustle” won the Golden Globe for motion picture comedy on Sunday. “My mother was a very powerful person. She was an Italian woman from Brooklyn. I realized that with 'The Fighter,' I based some of that on experiences with my mother,” he said, adding, “strong women characters are the gateway to a very powerful movie.” Asked whether there was a lot of improvisation on the set of “American Hustle,” Russell said that even though it may have come across that way, there was not. “I want to correct the notion of improvisation,” the co-writer/director said.
January 16, 2014 | By Steven Zeitchik
In a strong year for directors, Oscar voters took notice. The academy's directors branch chose a veritable who's who of English-language filmmakers, nominating Steve McQueen ("12 Years a Slave"), Alfonso Cuaron ("Gravity"), David O. Russell ("American Hustle"), Alexander Payne ("Nebraska") and Martin Scorsese ("The Wolf of Wall Street") for best director Thursday morning. Not on the list were Spike Jonze ("Her"), Paul Greengrass ("Captain Phillips"), Jean-Marc Vallee ("Dallas Buyers Club")
February 28, 2014 | By Steven Zeitchik
A populist confection with ambitions to high art. A hodgepodge whose messiness has generated both raves and criticism. A colorful throwback that is also surprisingly modern and relevant. David O. Russell's "American Hustle" is a series of entertaining if at times frustrating contradictions, an idiosyncratic piece of work that has nonetheless managed to succeed in the marketplace. A movie, in other words, much like its creator. Russell is, by many of the high standards the term implies, a cinematic master, capable of juggling tones like few others and creating movies about meaty subjects to boot.
December 5, 2013 | By Glenn Whipp
Has Duke Ellington ever saved your life? David O. Russell knows the answer to that particular question because Ellington's music has rescued him many times. It happened yesterday. It'll probably happen again tomorrow. And it also happens near the beginning of Russell's latest movie, "American Hustle," when a couple of con artists, played by Christian Bale and Amy Adams, plop down on the floor and listen to Ellington's slow-cooker classic "Jeep's Blues" and look into each others' eyes and know they've found heaven on a cracker.
July 31, 2013 | By Steven Zeitchik
There isn't a lot of plot explication in the new trailer for David O. Russell's “American Hustle.” There doesn't need to be. With a wildly enjoyable sense of style, the spot plunges us deeply -- and enjoyably -- into the movie's world of '70s shadiness. As Led Zeppelin's "Good Times Bad Times" plays portentously over the action, we get a quick montage of some very famous faces doing convincing - and convincingly bad - things, in Russell's new movie inspired by the Abscam sting operation of the 1970s.
May 21, 2013 | By Elaine Woo, Los Angeles Times
Newton R. Russell, a veteran state senator known as an expert on California's complex public pension system and a stickler for upholding legislative rules, died Saturday of lung cancer at his La Cañada Flintridge home, his family said. He was 85. A conservative Republican, Russell served 32 years in the Legislature, including 10 years in the Assembly and 22 years in the Senate, where he represented the communities of Arcadia, Monrovia, Sierra Madre, San Marino, Temple City, Glendale, La Cañada Flintridge and part of Pasadena.
August 8, 1992
The academy and the Directors Guild should be made to share the blame of not assisting Russell in retaining this most prestigious award for himself and his family and of not providing him with a method of earning a living as a performer or in another industry job as a handicapped senior citizen. SUSANNA BAIRD Los Angeles
February 14, 2012 | By Yvonne Villarreal, Los Angeles Times
After "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" star Taylor Armstrong's husband, Russell, killed himself in August 2011, Armstrong could have pulled back from the spotlight. Instead, she sought comfort in it. Five weeks after her husband's death, Armstrong appeared on "Dr. Phil," speaking about allegations that later would be unleashed on the Bravo reality TV series: that Russell physically and emotionally abused her. Six months after Russell's death, she has released a tell-all book about their marriage, "Hiding From Reality," further elaborating on the accusations and intensifying her media saturation with a slew of appearances on such shows as "The View," "Today" and "Dr. Drew.
November 22, 2012 | By Steven Zeitchik, Los Angeles Times
When Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence met for the first time before shooting the new David O. Russell movie "Silver Linings Playbook," they didn't opt for a conventional encounter. There was no leisurely table read of the script, no tell-me-your-hopes-and-dreams lunch with a director. Instead, they rendezvoused at a dance studio. The pair's new dramatic comedy, which the Weinstein Co. opened nationwide on Wednesday, has a significant ballroom dance subplot. So the actors entered an intense two-week session in which, for four or five hours each day, a choreographer had them spinning, lifting and dipping.
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