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 executives to have David O. Russell direct The Fighter, which to date has grossed more than $90 million at the domestic box office. Best Supporting Actress nominee Amy Adams, and supporting category winners Melissa Leo and Christian Bale co-star.
The year's Best Director Oscar winner, as expected, was 2011 DGA Award winner Tom Hooper for The King's Speech, starring Colin Firth, Helena Bonham Carter, Geoffrey Rush, Guy Pearce, and veteran Claire Bloom (The Chapman Report, A Doll's House).
David O. Russell made his feature film debut in 1994, with the dramatic comedy Spanking the Monkey, starring Jeremy Davies.
Photo of David O. Russell making a fashion statement on the Oscars Red Carpet: Ivan Vejar / © A.M.P.A.S.
'Black Swan' director Darren Aronofsky
Darren Aronofsky, a Best Director Oscar nominee for the psychological thriller Black Swan, is pictured above on the 83rd Academy Awards' Red Carpet just outside the Kodak Theatre. Aronofsky was a first-time Best Director nominee.
Starring eventual Best Actress winner Natalie Portman, Black Swan also features Mila Kunis (at one point touted as a likely Best Supporting Actress Oscar contender), Barbara Hershey (another top Best Supporting Actress contender earlier this awards season), Winona Ryder, Vincent Cassel, and Portman's husband-to-be Benjamin Millepied.
Darren Aronofsky lost the Best Director Oscar to Tom Hooper for The King's Speech. Their fellow competitors were:
- David O. Russell for The Fighter.
- David Fincher for The Social Network.
- Joel and Ethan Coen for True Grit.
Natalie Portman was the only Black Swan nominee to take home an Oscar statuette.
Black Swan director Darren Aronofsky photo: Richard Harbaugh / © A.M.P.A.S.