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It’s probably safe to say the whole “no second acts in American life” axiom by Fitzgerald really no longer applies to modern culture. From Robert Downey Jr. to Mel Gibson, Charlie Sheen, "Full House" and more, American culture and media loves tales of redemption. But not every comeback story has to crawl out of ruin, some talents just fade into the background and then rise again for their second kick at the can. Actor Lily Tomlin hasn’t really gone anywhere over the last few years — she had a memorable role in David O. Russell’s “I Heart Huckabees” a few years back, but the comedienne is currently having a moment. Her Netflix show “Grace and Frankie” in which she stars opposite Jane Fonda appears to be a big hit after just a few weeks of release and the internet subscription service has just renewed the series for a second season. »
- Edward Davis
In the beginning there was David O Russell's Nailed, a political comedy which began filming in 2008 and, after a disastrous string of financing problems, seemingly died two years later. Deciding to cut his losses, a frustrated Russell abandoned the project in 2010 and moved onto Oscar glory with The Fighter, Silver Linings Playbook and American Hustle.
But like Rasputin, Nailed has lingered on without Russell's involvement. Missing pieces have been shot and put in place, and the finished film - now called Accidental Love - is credited to one Stephen Greene, an Alan Smithee-like pseudonym. The result is a fitfully amusing farce that can't begin to hide the scars of its troubled production.
Jessica Biel stars as Alice, an 25-year-old small-town waitress who's caught the eye of vain local cop, »
Animal Farm: Lanthimos’ Dystopic Dip into RomCom
Greek auteur Yorgos Lanthimos makes an admirable English language debut with The Lobster, set within an original dystopic landscape charting the grim prospects for the monogamous human relationship. Those familiar with the director’s unique black humor from Dogtooth (2009) and Alps (2011) should be pleased to find none of his abilities to be lost in translation. And yet, this latest also feels as if it prizes sly commentary over substance, a cohesion of elements that make his other titles feel a bit more inventive and a bit less belabored. Still, there’s much to admire in this latest work, a bizarre universe unto itself.
David (Colin Farrell) has just been left by his wife. But he lives in a world where it is against the law to be single, so he is forced to check into a hotel where singles have 45 days to »
- Nicholas Bell
Mark Wahlberg and wife Rhea Durham on the Oscars' Red Carpet Mark Wahlberg and wife Rhea Durham at the Academy Awards Mark Wahlberg and wife Rhea Durham in a red-and-golden outfit are pictured above on the 2011 Academy Awards' Red Carpet, just outside the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood. The Oscar ceremony was held on Sunday, Feb. 27. Wahlberg, decades ago known as underwear model Marky Mark, was an Oscar nominee as one of the producers of Best Picture contender The Fighter – which ultimately lost to odds-on favorite The King's Speech. Mark Wahlberg was the only major player in the David O. Russell-directed boxing drama who failed to be nominated for an Academy Award in the acting categories. Co-stars Amy Adams, Melissa Leo, and Christian Bale were all shortlisted; Leo and Bale ended up winning in their respective supporting categories. Wahlberg, however, was a Best Supporting Actor nominee four years ago: for »
- D. Zhea
David O. Russell makes fashion statement on the Oscars' Red Carpet David O. Russell: Fashion statement and Oscar nomination David O. Russell, a Best Director Oscar nominee for the surprisingly successful boxing drama The Fighter, makes both a fashion and a facial statement upon his arrival with guests at the 2011 Academy Awards held on Feb. 27 at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood. This was his first Best Director nomination. About five years ago, David O. Russell made headlines thanks to leaked videos showing him having a volcanic, expletive-filled confrontation with Lily Tomlin on the set of I Heart Huckabees – an ambitious all-star comedy that turned out to be much less successful than the bizarre behind-the-scenes video clips. (Check out Paul Rudd in a parody of the 'I Heart Huckabees' blow-up.) Three Kings and I Heart Huckabees alumnus Mark Wahlberg has said that he had to fight with Paramount »
- D. Zhea
Of all the left-field composers out there — typically musicians who don’t follow the traditional rules of film composing — if Jon Brion isn’t at the very top, he’s very damn close. The musician, composer, producer (who has worked with folks like Fiona Apple, Kanye West, Of Montreal, Elliott Smith and more) has been tapped by filmmakers like Paul Thomas Anderson (“Magnolia,” “Punch Drunk Love”), Michel Gondry (“Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind”), David O. Russell (“I Heart Huckabees”), Charlie Kaufman (“Synechdoche, New York”), Miranda July (“The Future”) and more. In recent years he’s been moving towards comedies, especially for the films of Adam McKay (“The Other Guys,” “Step Brothers”), Vince Vaughn (“The Break-Up,” “Delivery Man”) and Judd Apatow. Brion scored “Funny People,” “This Is 40,” and has also written the music for the upcoming “Trainwreck” film starring Amy Schumer. The bête noir of all film composers is temp music — the music a. »
- Edward Davis
A video of Dennis Quaid going ballistic on set has gone viral along with questions over its legitimacy as many are believing this to be yet another Jimmy Kimmel-esque prank. The video finds Quaid questioning the professionalism of the set, which he would seem to be well within reason to criticize if there is someone on said set recording via a cell phone camera. We can only assume Quaid is yelling at the director and complaining about commotion in the background while he's trying to perform and it must take quite a bit to get someone to this level of frustration, that is if it's real. This, obviously, isn't the first time we've seen/heard something like this as Christian Bale was caught in a similar situation during the filming of Terminator Salvation and we're all familiar with Lily Tomlin's back-and-forth with David O. Russell on the set of I Heart Huckabees. »
- Brad Brevet
Adieu au langageWhen I stumbled out of the theatre after my first viewing of Jean-Luc Godard’s newest film, Adieu au langage—which will be released on home video by Kino Lorber on April 14—I felt that nagging feeling that only a few films can give. That feeling isn’t necessarily limited to great or even good films, but belongs instead to a certain special, disparate troupe. I left feeling that Godard had made a film that wanted to think about film in some way, aligning itself with the films that made their ways into books of philosophy by film theorists Noël Carroll and Stanley Cavell.Admittedly, there’s a danger in these feelings. Adieu au langage, as well as the whole lot of these “thinking” films, could simply be playfully “meta,” purposefully toying with the conversations that critics and academics love. Maybe I’ve just taken the filmmaker’s bait here, »
- Zach Lewis
Jason Schwartzman made the transition that some teen actors can’t broker. His first film, Wes Anderson's "Rushmore," was a big hit and launched his career. But the years after were a bit lean and or unremarkable. It wasn’t until six years later, with David O. Russell’s “I Heart Huckabees,” that the actor proved he was more than a one-hit wonder (though those that remember know he was pretty hilarious in his small “Cq” role). On a Marc Maron podcast from earlier this year, the actor revealed that before ‘Huckabees’ he almost starred in another David O. Russell movie, an unnamed mystery film that Schwartzman wrote some of the music score for, and that the director pulled the plug on very shortly before filming was set to begin. “Before [‘Huckabees’] there was another movie we were supposed to make,” he explained. “Right after ‘Rushmore’ I met him and he said, »
- Edward Davis
While We’re Young, 2015.
Written and Directed by Noah Baumbach.
A middle-aged couple’s life is turned upside down when they meet a young hipster couple.
As we get older, our priorities naturally begin to shift, as does our outlook on life. It’s that moment, however, when we begin uttering the words “when I was young” that may find some of us hitting the panic button. That moment is what’s explored in Noah Baumbach’s latest film While We’re Young, starring Ben Stiller, Naomi Watts, Adam Driver and Amanda Seyfried, and let’s just say it provides a perfect platform for a thoughtful and oftentimes hilarious commentary on the many challenges of growing old.
Josh Srebnick (Stiller) is a mid-40s filmmaker who’s found himself amidst a career crisis, »
- William Fanelli
How does one assess something like Accidental Love? This is the movie that began life as Nailed, directed and co-written by David O. Russell back in 2008, after the critical and financial disappointment of I Heart Huckabees and before his Oscar-fueled career resurgence with The Fighter. Numerous production delays and troubles with financiers eventually led to the director leaving the project in 2010, reportedly with one day of shooting left. (His producers had already departed.) He has since disavowed it, and this highly compromised cut arrives credited to the Alan Smithee–like pseudonym Stephen Greene. It was quietly released on VOD last month and is now appearing in a smattering of theaters.So, nobody wants to have anything to do with the movie we have before us — which is understandable, since it’s something of a catastrophe. But it also has the quality of a medical cadaver: You can examine it and »
- Bilge Ebiri
Hollywood is not exactly a warm and fuzzy place where everyone gets along like best friends. That’s why so many film sets are hotbeds for drama. But no drama is more intense than the art-infused feuds between actor and director, because Art!
Here are some of the biggest and best actor-director fights in film history.
Let’s start with the most recent. After Mo’Nique won an Oscar for her role in Precious, she says Daniels told her she was blackballed for not playing the Hollywood game. Then recently she announced that she’d been offered roles in both The Butler and Empire, but never heard anything more until she learned Oprah and Taraji P. Henson were respectively playing what she’d been led to believe were her roles. Despite the struggles, Mo’Nique says she “could work with Lee Daniels tomorrow.”
- Courtney Enlow
Jennifer Lawrence is speaking out in defense of her Joy director and frequent collaborator, David O. Russell. "I know I don't go on here a lot because I can barely work email," the actress, 24, wrote on her Facebook page, "but there's been a terrible rumor going around the last 24 hours so I wanted to clear it up. "David O. Russell is one of my closest friends and we have an amazing collaborative working relationship," she said. The rumor that Lawrence is referring to originated from TMZ; the report claims that she and Russell, 56, got into a "loud argument" on set Tuesday, »
- Amanda Michelle Steiner, @amandamichl
At one point in “Accidental Love,” the movie’s crusading heroine flips on a TV and catches a glimpse of George A. Romero’s seminal 1968 zombie opus “Night of the Living Dead.” And, like one of Romero’s own restless undead, this mirthless, misshapen social satire cum romantic comedy has managed to crawl out of the early grave to which it was consigned in 2008, back when its title was “Nailed” and its director was David O. Russell. Pieced together by unknown parties after years stuck in litigation (resulting from the bankruptcy of financier David Bergetsin’s Capitol Films), “Accidental Love” turns out to be no “Margaret”-style diamond-in-the-rough, but merely a not-particularly-interesting curio from the low ebb of a great director’s career. Russell (credited here as Stephen Greene), original producers Doug Wick and Lucy Fisher, and the starry ensemble cast have understandably kept their distance from this opportunistic cash-grab release, »
- Scott Foundas
Media narrative can define and even ruin careers, and in the case of notorious artists, can linger on long after they’ve become obsolete. In the case of director David O. Russell, his past and present selves probably wouldn’t recognize each other. While always a well-regarded whirling dervish of creativity, post “I Heart Huckabees” — when leaked production footage showed the filmmaker fighting with and berating his actors — the filmmaker’s then-reputation as a mercurial, bad boy director couldn’t have been lower (this was,m of course, a film or two after George Clooney allegedly clocked him on the set of “Three Kings”; his legend was already growing). On reflection, Russell now sounds like a completely different person. He's the celebrated, thrice-in-a-row Academy Award-nominated Best Director whose films seem like an instant ticket to award season success for himself and his actors (his last three films have 25 Oscar nominations between them, »
- Rodrigo Perez
Eric Lavallee: Name me three of your favorite “2014 discoveries”…
Timo Chen: I worked a lot in 2014 so I didn’t get out much. That said, I was able to recall three things that I discovered that changed a few things in my life.
• Learning to solder and then learning that you could learn just about anything on youtube. I had previously only used electrical tape and sloppy fixtures for all my electronic music endeavors. I told myself that I had to learn how to solder so I looked it up on youtube and was blown away by how many enthusiasts there were giving detailed instruction on something as commonplace as soldering. Then I started doing the same with carpentry and building more and more things–fixtures around the studio, etc. Learning to teach myself to build things was a huge discovery for me in 2014.
• Two pieces of music: Te Deum by Arvo Pärt. »
- Eric Lavallee
Manuel here. The Costume Design Guild has announced that they’ll be celebrating Naomi Watts with the Lacoste Spotlight Award when they announce winners for their film, TV and commercial awards on February 17th. While they bill the award as honoring an “actor whose talent and career personifies an enduring commitment to excellence, including a special awareness of the role and importance of costume design,” their choices so far (previous recipients include Anne Hathaway, Kate Beckinsale, Halle Berry and Emily Blunt) have yet to really reflect the award, no? Whither Keira, Nicole, Tilda or heck, even Colin Firth? The man can wear a sweater (among other things), you know.
Anyways, we should really focus on the positive and be thankful Watts was able to bounce back so quickly from that horrible triple-whammy of Movie 43, Adore and Diana. Let's just hope she can keep up the momentum going. And so »
- Manuel Betancourt
Now called Accidental Love, comedy Nailed began as a David O Russell movie more than seven years ago. Here's a look at its strange story...
Despite its stellar cast, which includes Jessica Biel, Jake Gyllenhaal and James Brolin, it's possible that you've never heard of the forthcoming comedy Accidental Love. It's almost certain that you haven't heard of its director Stephen Greene, because he doesn't exist.
The Accidental Love saga takes in Oscar-nominated director David O Russell, dodgy financiers, multiple production shut-downs, cast walk-outs and questionable name changes. Until recently, it looked as though the film would never see the light of day at all.
Accidental Love began life as Nailed, a screwball political comedy co-written by Russell and Kristin Gore (daughter of Us politician Al Gore). For Russell, whose previous film I Heart Huckabees had struggled at the box office, Nailed was supposed to be a "fresh page and »
You may remember this one: six years ago, Nailed, David O. Russell’s proposed follow-up to I Heart Huckabees, had massive financing problems. The would-be political satire about a waitress (Jessica Biel) who gets a nail to the head was ultimately scrapped and lain aside. In the meantime, the once-galvanizing director embarked on his Huckabees‘ apology tour, going from the not-bad The Fighter to the increasingly dispiriting (but renumerative) The Silver Linings Playbook and American Hustle. Now whatever footage was shot (it’s unclear, though the Internet says crucial plot parts were never filmed) has been cobbled into some kind of grotesque thing that walks the earth, with […] »
- Vadim Rizov
Back in November, we reported that David O. Russell’s ill-fated, romantic satire "Nailed" would actually see the light of day, thanks to producers determined to reshoot, finish and release the picture in whatever marketable form they could. Now dubbed "Accidental Love," the first trailer for the film plays like a goofy rom-com of the McConaughey-Hudson era, albeit with hints of Russell’s biting perspective. What was dead is now reborn… as something far more generic. Is this how Nicole Kidman felt in "Birth"? "Accidental Love" follows Alice (Jessica Biel), the recent victim of a nailgun shot to the head, as she crusades to Washington D.C. in defense of all those afflicted by "weird conditions they can’t afford to fix." Ditched by her fiancée (James Marsden), Alice hooks up with an eager, young politician (Jake Gyllenhaal) and antics ensue. Though he’s turned his attention to more traditional drama fare, »
- Matt Patches
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