Director Dissection with Seanc and Rauldc

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"Money won is twice as sweet as money earned."



Will you be watching Accidental Love SC?
At some point I'm sure I'll see it / buy it.



Sean, should we wrap Russell up? I was thinking of writing a bit about my votes for those categories you posted.



Sean, should we wrap Russell up? I was thinking of writing a bit about my votes for those categories you posted.
Sounds good, I will follow up.
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Russell Wrap Up

Best Film- It's clearly American Hustle for me. It is in my top 50 of all time (more than likely). Silver Linings Playbook and The Fighter are both edged right on the cusp of the top 100 more than likely, so yes, they are great, but not to Hustle level for me.

Best Screenplay- I don't think Russell has had a bad screenplay. Even Flirting With Disaster I would stick up for in that regard. It would probably be a final two of Silver Linings Playbook and American Hustle. In the end, American Hustle.

Best Cinematography- they are all pretty solid. I think Silver Linings Playbook uses some really effective scenes, and of course Hustle as well. I'd give it to The Fighter though.

Best Male Performance- I think Bale in The Fighter would be a pretty odds on favorite for the majority of people. For me, I couldn't vote against Bradley Cooper in Silver Linings Playbook though. They both transform into their characters in incredible ways. I just think Cooper is the more enjoyable, likeable character, so he edges out Bale as Dickie.

Best Female Performance- the hardest of these categories for me to choose. He has made stars out of Adams and Lawrence. I think Lawrence gives us the most bang for her buck in American Hustle and I will vow to say it was Oscar worthy.

Interested on your takes Sean and maybe the people who responded to you.



Russell Wrap Up

Best Film- American Hustle for me as well. Everything comes together here. Great writing, acting, music, and atmosphere. I love this movie.

Best Screenplay- I Heart Huckabees. From a pure writing stand point I find it extraordinary.

Best Cinematography- The Fighter. Another hard decision, but the atmosohere set here is fantastic.

Best Male Performance- Bale, The Fighter. The movie that made me decide I do like Bale as an actor. Complete transfromation.

Best Female Performance- Adams, American Hustle. Could have went with either Adams performance or either Lawrence performance here. So I went with my favorite.

I really enjoyed this trip down memory lane with Russell's films. Like a lot of the directors I love he combines dark themes with humor and great characters. I am looking forward to our next director. Glad you came up with the idea for this thread Raul.



I think Russell was a great place to start certainly since we both seem to have the same admiration and respect for his films. I really look forward to his upcoming films. At this rate, he could be one of my favorite directors of the 2010's if he keeps up his pace.

I'll have our next director starting point up in a bit.



Up Next: Alexander Payne



Like Russell, Alexander Payne doesn't have a huge filmography, but it's still an admirable one.

I have extended a request to Camo to be a part of this dissection, so he can feel free to chime in as well (anybody can really).

My opening questions for Sean C and Camo are as follows:
1. Do you think Alexander Payne has a main theme that he tries to hit in his movies? If so, what is it?
2. In what film do you think the dialogue is the strongest?
3. Is there any film that has gotten stronger with time or that you believe has the potential to?



Raul, I hope its cool if I start getting into this tomorrow. I have had a lot of basketball with my boys this week, so getting home late



I think I've been poisoned by my constituents
I quite like David O. Russell, although I have only seen a few of his films, and a couple could probably do with a rewatch.

I believe that I watched Silver Linings Playbook and The Fighter at around the same time, and I enjoyed them both a lot. Good, strong performances, and although plausability/characterisation is stretched at points, I found myself honestly liking them a lot. I'm not sure if that would change for better or worse on further watches, but I own The Fighter so we'll see. It probably helps that I'm one of few people who actually likes Mark Wahlberg, he's not great or anything, but it's a decent role for him.

I think I watched Three Kings next. I put it on Sky Movies and thought it seemed really weird at first, what the hell was this war film with Wahlberg, Clooney and Ice Cube? Once it settled down and I realised the comedy it was going for, I thought it worked great. I can't remember much specifics though, but I laughed a lot. I'll have to see this again too.

I watch American Hustle when it came out, and I also liked it a lot. I think once again its a little superficial, and it was hard to understand at points, but it was just a whole lot of fun again. These characters, real or not, are ones you want to watch together on screen. I think Jeremy Renner gives possibly the best and definitely the most underrated performance here

I thought you guys might do Payne next. I've only seen Nebraska, that was at the cinemas. I thought it was great though, beautifully written with touching and often hilarious human characters. My friend who I went with highly recommended checking out his other films, but I for some reason or another haven't got round to it, even though I have Sideways and The Descendants available to me. I look forward to hearing your thoughts.



I am the lone locust of the apocalypse
I am interested in seeing what you guys have to say about Payne, I've seen four of his films and I like each of them.

My rank:

1. Election
2. The Descendants
3. About Schmidt
4. Sideways

I've not seen Nebraska or Citizen Ruth.

More people should see Election around here.



Raul, I hope its cool if I start getting into this tomorrow. I have had a lot of basketball with my boys this week, so getting home late
That's cool Sean. I'll probably be posting my initial thoughts tomorrow, since I work tonight.



I'm going to watch Nebraska tomorrow night then the only Payne i haven't seen is Citizen Ruth, if Raul or Sean has seen it and think i'd possibly like it i'll go through with it but the trailer reminds me of certain parts of another Payne that i'll bring up in one of your questions Raul. From the trailer Nebraska really looks fantastic though, the sort of thing that will (and hopefully does) completely work for me.



My opening questions for Sean C and Camo are as follows:
1. Do you think Alexander Payne has a main theme that he tries to hit in his movies? If so, what is it?
2. In what film do you think the dialogue is the strongest?
3. Is there any film that has gotten stronger with time or that you believe has the potential to?
The first question is a good one. I don't know if I think he has a main theme as much as the tone of his films are the same. I could say men in mid-life crisis, but then you have About Schmidt, Citizen Ruth, and Nebraska. I could say the plight of the middle class but once again you have Citizen Ruth, The Descendants, and Sideways. I do think his films are always exploring the frailty of man. This is probably super simplistic, but I think it is a good place to start for both humor and drama. Payne is great at both.

Like Russell, dialogue is a Payne strong suit. Hard to pick one for me, but I think its Sideways.

I really liked Sideways the first time I saw it. I didn't expect it to be one of my all time favorites though. I hope Nebraska grows on me more. I like it but not nearly as much as Sideways, The Descendants, About Schmidt, and Election. I think those four are all excellent films.

I will write about Citizen Ruth, and try to come up with some conversation starters tomorrow.



I am interested in seeing what you guys have to say about Payne, I've seen four of his films and I like each of them.

My rank:

1. Election
2. The Descendants
3. About Schmidt
4. Sideways
Didn't know those were all by the same guy.

I used to love Sideways. I probably still would - I just haven't seen it in awhile. About Schmidt was good. The Descendants is something I wouldn't mind seeing. Election is something I've never cared to see.



I'm going to watch Nebraska tomorrow night then the only Payne i haven't seen is Citizen Ruth, if Raul or Sean has seen it and think i'd possibly like it i'll go through with it but the trailer reminds me of certain parts of another Payne that i'll bring up in one of your questions Raul. From the trailer Nebraska really looks fantastic though, the sort of thing that will (and hopefully does) completely work for me.
Citizen Ruth is the only movie of his I dislike. I would never steer someone towards it, I don't see any redeeming qualities.



The first question is a good one. I don't know if I think he has a main theme as much as the tone of his films are the same. I could say men in mid-life crisis, but then you have About Schmidt, Citizen Ruth, and Nebraska. I could say the plight of the middle class but once again you have Citizen Ruth, The Descendants, and Sideways. I do think his films are always exploring the frailty of man. This is probably super simplistic, but I think it is a good place to start for both humor and drama. Payne is great at both.

Like Russell, dialogue is a Payne strong suit. Hard to pick one for me, but I think its Sideways.

I really liked Sideways the first time I saw it. I didn't expect it to be one of my all time favorites though. I hope Nebraska grows on me more. I like it but not nearly as much as Sideways, The Descendants, About Schmidt, and Election. I think those four are all excellent films.

I will write about Citizen Ruth, and try to come up with some conversation starters tomorrow.
1.I must admit when i read the questions i couldn't think of any major theme in Paynes movies, other than the failure of male characters. I'm assuming you and Raul are watching all of his films, so i'll wait to the discussion starts on this.

2.Agree with Sean, Sideways. Personally Payne is one of my favourite screenwriters, and i feel one of his has a very underrated script; but yeah it's Sideways.

"I AM NOT DRINKING ANY FU*KING MERLOT"

3.Not the question asked but i feel that Payne has evolved as a director more than any of his films have grown on me, the dialogue in Election has became alot more noticeable after a second watch; while that in itself hasn't changed my opinion of Election too much it did make me rethink Paynes films altogether. More than any single film i think he's done a remarkable job of turning his films from, amusing and thoughtful comedies full of utterly detestable characters (Election, and i imagine Citizen Ruth from the Trailer), to again thoughtful and funny comedies, with more relatable, less cartoonish (most in Election imo) yet still flawed characters.



I think all of Paynes main characters show some faults. Matthew Broderick in Election is a great example when they show that he has moved and completely changed his lifestyle. Sideways characters faults are quite obvious too. But I believe that is what really draw me to the characters in the first place.

We come to a conclusive agreement that the best dialogue in a Payne film is Sideways. It is brilliantly written and directed. Of course, so is The Descendants and it really is the strong point of all of Paynes films.

I haven't seen it in awhile, but I think Nebraska is a film that has potential to grow on me. I would say Sideways but I rated it so highly when I saw it that it would be hard to improve upon me as much as Nebraska.



Camo, while I wouldn't necessarily recommend Citizen Ruth, there are a few scenes that I quite enjoyed. While overall the film was pretty much a mess, you can see some of Paynes traits for the first time. I'm glad that he really grew upon them.

I'm all ears for the next questions. Sorry I hadn't said anything until now.