Writer-director David O. Russell has a great touch when it comes to working with words and actors. He is best known for Three Kings, the Persian Gulf War film starring George Clooney and Mark Wahlberg, and The Fighter, also starring Wahlberg, in which Russell directed virtual unknown Melissa Leo to an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.
A few weeks ago I compared a film to an impromptu casserole made from available ingredients on your pantry shelf. So let’s stick with the culinary metaphor once again and whip up a big pot of movie soup.
It’s the time of year when film writers everywhere offer up their “Ten Best” lists. Granted, you’ll not see movies of this quality in one sitting, or even over a couple of months. And, it’s entirely possible you may have missed some of these jewels simply because of time constraints, or maybe you never heard of them before.
I know many of us have gone to a movie simply because of the “over-hype” where the end product was nowhere nearly as good as the sales job. I have just discovered another arena of disappointment: “over-expectation.” As a big fan of westerns and of the films of Quentin Tarantino, I have awaited Django Unchained as if it were the star on top of the Christmas tree. Imagine my surprise when the film he delivered did not live up to what I envisioned he could deliver. And I’m not saying it’s a bad film, but it has enough little things wrong with it to chalk it up as a disappointment.
Hollywood icon and Oscar-nominated actor Richard Burton led a tumultuous life that included two marriages to Elizabeth Taylor and a bit of drinking. For the first time, his diaries from 1939 through 1983 have been published and Chris Williams, the book’s editor, speaks with Larry Thomas about this revealing collection of personal writings, and how they provide a unique look at those supposed glamor years.