Who would have guessed that the director of Spanking the Monkey would turn into one of Hollywood’s darlings? I certainly didn’t. David O’ Russell has been on a winning streak since The Fighter. His latest film American Hustle racked up 10 Academy Award nominations but walked away empty handed on award’s night. Unlike most decisions by the Academy, there was good reason why.
Russell’s directing is near perfect and the entire cast brings their A-game, but the film invites comparisons to much more compelling movies. With such expectations the risks it takes are not high enough and the con game at its center is not slick enough.… Read the rest