Here are the five nominees who did make the cut:
David O. Russell, American Hustle
For years, David O. Russell made his name with a range of idiosyncratic comedies like Three Kings (1999) and I Heart Huckabees (2004), as well as for his notable temper with his actors. However, he's since landed in the Academy's wheelhouse, earning a Best Director nomination for each of his past three films: The Fighter (2010), Silver Linings Playbook (2012), and this year's American Hustle. Of these films, American Hustle feels the most like vintage Russell. Under his direction, the film has a verve of unpredictability, feeling as if the whole thing could fly off the handle at any given moment. Yet it's a controlled chaos, and Russell capably keeps everything together and nabs a collection of great performances from his cast. He's done fine work here, and it's interesting to see some of his more eclectic sensibilities sneaking back into his films.
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