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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")
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.
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.
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.
November 29, 2013 | By Steven Zeitchik
Toward the end of "American Hustle," the new film from comedy-drama laureate David O. Russell, a man describes his hard-won epiphany. "The art of survival," says the character, a con man played with toupee-ish shiftiness by Christian Bale, "is a story that never ends. " The line articulates one of the central motifs of the film - the need for self-narrative - while offering a telling peek into the mind of the man responsible for it. For the last two decades, Russell, 55, has had one of the movie business' wildest careers, donning guises like most people put on shirts: edgy wunderkind, hothead flameout and, lately, Oscar-nominated auteur with an unlikely box-office touch.
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
Selling an Oscar smacks of commercialism, protests Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences President Karl Malden ("Harold Russell Selling 'Best Years of Our Lives' Oscar,' " July 31). The movie industry has bronzed commercialism and Malden. Why didn't Malden quietly buy the Oscar and return it to the academy? JIM SKEESE San Diego
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.
December 9, 2010 | By Tom Roston, Special to the Los Angeles Times
David O. Russell's trademark longish hair is gone now, replaced by a clean, short-cropped look. But sitting back in New York City's Lobby Lounge in the Mandarin Oriental Hotel overlooking Central Park, he wears the same retro sneakers and dress-shirt-with-jacket ensemble that he's been known for since his 1994 art-house hit debut, "Spanking the Monkey. " In the intervening years, the 52-year-old director has made three films of varying commercial success, each with an integrity that earned him the "auteur" label; he has erupted into two spectacularly notorious on-set freak-outs; and he walked away from a disastrous, three-year production.
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