Tag Archives: David O. Russell

The biggest problem with ‘Joy’ is its own director

Screen Shot 2015-12-30 at 7.04.23 PM

“Joy” had scenes. And while some of them were very good, I’m not sure that it’s actually a movie, though.

“Joy,” the latest film by David O. Russell is a biopic that proudly displays a big asterisk on the “bio” part. It tells the true story of Joy Mangano (Jennifer Lawrence), an overworked, single mother who created the Miracle Mop and became a millionaire.

Now this is the kind of story David O. Russell loves: somebody who is constantly held down by their insane mess of a family. And that is what ultimately hurts Russell at certain points: he is constantly standing in his own shadow.

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Five Other Great Movies from this Year’s Oscar Nominated Directors

Flirting with Disaster (1996)

Patricia Arquette in overalls. Filed Under: 1990s

Ever since I first started to learn about film, I have always been fascinated by directorial style. Bad directors are bad because they have no distinct style. They are fine with being derivative of their time. Good directors think ahead, follow patterns, and ultimately evolve.

This year’s crop of directors nominated for Oscars are as talented as they are diverse. Some are old pros, and some are just breaking out. Some are deeply funny, and others are deeply serious. Looking at their past works is the best way to understand what they are doing in the present.

I (with the help of a friend, more on that after the jump) have gone through the careers of all five of this year’s Oscar nominated directors. I didn’t necessarily chose their best works, but rather I chose the ones you might not have seen (because honestly, you don’t need me to know that “Raging Bull” is great), or the one’s that exemplify each director in an interesting way. Without further adieu, here is my list of five other great movies from this year’s Oscar Nominated directors:

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