David O. Russell is an American film director whose work includes Flirting with Disaster (1996), Three Kings (1999) and The Fighter (2010). Known as what some might call the "fussy auteur" type of filmmaker, Russell made his debut with the offbeat comedy Spanking the Monkey (1994). That film established his credibility as an independent filmmaker, and he then gained mainstream success with Flirting with Disaster (starring Ben Stiller and Tea Leoni) and Three Kings (starring George Clooney and Mark Wahlberg). But Russell's I Heart Huckabees (2004), described as an "existential detective story," was a misfire that spawned an internet viral video in which Russell loses his temper with a sarcastic Lily Tomlin. Critics began to wonder why the once-promising Russell had only made five features in fifteen years, but The Fighter brought an Oscar nomination for best direction in 2011. Although Russell is known as both writer and director of his films, for 2010's The Fighter he worked from a screenplay by Scott Silver, Paul Tamasy and Eric Johnson, and took over the directing job from Darren Aronofsky.
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