David Owen Russell born in August 20, 1958 is an American film director and screenwriter. He has been praised for the loose, comic energy that characterizes his work, and notorious for his explosive confrontations with cast members.
Russell was born in New York City, New York to a Jewish father and an Italian American Catholic mother, and was raised in an “atheistic” household. He graduated from Amherst College in 1981, majoring in Political Science and English. He is good friends with film directors Alexander Payne and Spike Jonze.
His first directorial effort was the independent dark comedy Spanking the Monkey in 1994, starring Jeremy Davies as a troubled young man who develops an incestuous relationship with his mother (Alberta Watson). Despite the controversial subject matter, the film received critical acclaim and won him Best First Screenplay and Best First Feature from the Independent Spirit Awards, as well as the Audience Award at the Sundance Film Festival. read more
His last three films don't leave the level of average. He's getting far too much awards attention.
Although I tried very hard I never saw the greatness of his films that so many people talk about. At best he seems to know what a good movie is supposed to look like but he can't make one himself. So he makes movies that look like good movies, but aren't good movies. Also the strange spontaneous randomness in his films seems pointless, if anything it just distracts from what little credibility the movie had (especially his camera placement is shit). I feel like he's something like a Paul Thomas Anderson wannabe where he tries to zero in on the pathetic nature of his main characters but he only use them for effect and ultimately fails to understand them or even be truly sympathetic to them.