David O. Russell
Bursting onto the filmmaking scene with an uncomfortable, but darkly comic examination of mother-son incest, David O. Russell quickly developed a reputation for being one of the most original and forward-looking directors working in Hollywood. The splash he made with "Spanking the Monkey" (1994) opened the doors wide for Russell, who became one of those rare talents to gain studio backing for highly-personal and risky films that typically generated rave reviews, but little profit. After the toned-down sophomore effort, "Flirting with Disaster" (1996), he scored a large-scale success with "Three Kings" (1999), which thrust Russell into the top tier of working directors. But with success came a new breed of controversy, namely media stories about his erratic on-set behavior, resulting in verbal and physical clashes with cast and crew. Even footage of a verbal tirade against Lily Tomlin on the set of "I [Heart] Huckabees" (2004) managed to go viral on the Internet, confirming irrefutable proof that Russell could indeed be a tyrant on the set. Despite his behavior, Russell still maintained a reputation for bringing the most taboo subjects into a fresh and hilarious light, while earning considerable awards attention for "The Fighter" (2010) and "Silver Linings Playbook" (2012), making him one of Hollywood's more creatively risk-taking directors.