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David’s Humor and Characters
David O. Russell wrote and directed the new ensemble cast film ‘Amsterdam.’ David has a very defined sense of comedy within his writing. We have seen it in almost all his films. ‘I Heart Huckabees’ is a great example of his quirky character-building and comedic timing. ‘Amsterdam’ returns us to his undeniable sense of humor and character crafting like so many of his films before.
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His writing always works in a way where we get a happy ending, which is usually the way stage plays are built. Critics might deem this predictable, but sometimes that is what people want. Plays usually give us the happy ending we all desire. He crafts the characters through what some have called pure creativity. David himself said that “we never try to be funny, if we are funny it is because it is just real.” This gives the actor a chance to really live in the space of the character, bringing forth the life they are supposed to channel. It is no wonder David always has these star-studded casts working with him. Most actors love the opportunity to live in their characters from action to cut, and with David, it just seems so easy.
1933 Business Plot
‘Amsterdam’ is loosely based on the real scandal which was called the 1933 Business Plot. This was right after Franklin Delanor Roosevelt’s election into office. His agenda and political promises seemed to strangle capitalism according to the richest people in the country. With Nazi Germany starting to be recognized, America’s rich were looking for ways to keep their wealth through his office. These men eventually devised a plot to overthrow FDR and put someone in office who sympathized with their intentions. They inevitably failed and FDR was able to revolutionize America.
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Stories based on real life always have the power to do well in our society. Our society is demanding more and more realism. This trend is pointing films back in this direction as it did around the actual era the film takes place in. Even though you might not have heard of the 1933 Business Plot, ‘Amsterdam’ can supply a little knowledge about it and a lot of fun.
Full Commentary on ‘Amsterdam’
Red Carpet Arrivals ‘Amsterdam’
David O. Russell and His Uncanny Creation
David‘s directing style is always on point and it resonates the same within all his work. He lets the characters play out their scenes. Usually, the cutting also represents this, by letting the camera sit on the moments he deems so valuable to the character and the moment. The emotionality of the actor is the most important. The movie begins with a prominent General being murdered which sparks his daughter (Liz Meekens) played by Taylor Swift to take action. Christian Bale (Burt Berendsen) has an incredible performance as a doctor trying to help his fellow veterans. He plays Burt in such a way that he is allowed to simmer in moments. He uses his character’s traits and disabilities in a way that creates humility and laughter. Margot Robbie (Valerie Voze) also gets to use her forced drug addiction as a quirk for her character which also incites a bunch of hilarity. Her character is bold and David created a special relationship between her, John David Washington (Harry Woodman,) and Burt.
This relationship actually helps drive the plot’s main storyline. The relationships weave in and out of each other like a tapestry in ‘Amsterdam’. Although there is no actual documentation of these relationships, the cast created them in a way that seems very real. This is also no doubt the director’s vision, for all characters in his works are always full of life and originality.
Anya Taylor-Joy plays Valerie’s sister, Libby Voze. Her character seems to be in cahoots with Rami Malek’s character Tom Voze. As most mystery films do, these characters keep the veil up, causing the viewer to guess what is next. True intentions are always hidden in an effort to create a higher payoff towards the end of the film. The exposition towards the end puts the entire plot in the light, and helps the viewer figure out the things they have been predicting.
Full In-Depth Scoop – ‘Amsterdam’
Beautiful Cinematography and Sound
Emmanuel Lubezki shot this period piece and did so with the perfect color palates and visuals for the time. He even uses 16mm film at points that help us feel like we are there with them. Bringing us back in time with film technique is always a fantastic way to enamor the audience. I did not see one frame off in this, something that this great cinematographer is known for. The music by Daniel Pemberton also brings us into the era. Christian Bale actually sang two of the songs on the soundtrack and some if it is sung in the film as well. The sounds whisk us away to the 1930s and it helps keep us in the moment.
Period pieces always need great production design, and David has no lack of it in this film. Judy Becker went all out on this, channeling that post-war feeling within America at the time. Even Dr. Burt Berendsen’s practice has the vials and workings of a 1930’s plastic surgeon. The sets are magical and the way this film was produced is visually stunning. This all ties into David’s directing because his films have so much involvement from him creatively.
Premiere & Reactions – ‘Amsterdam’
Check Out ‘Amsterdam’ Now
David has done something for theaters and viewers. He once again gave us a reason to go out and catch a movie at the local venue. It is refreshing to see a film with such originality and creativity. David O. Russell always brings us these great films, and to him, most of them are passionate experiences that only lend to a better film-going experience for . If you were on the fence about ‘Amsterdam,’ now is the time to change that. The film started its run on October 7th and deserves attention. This film is a must-watch for all movie fans
Writer/Director – David O. Russell
Cast – Christian Bale, John David Washington, Margot Robbie, Rami Malek, Anya Taylor-Joy, Taylor Swift, Timothy Olyphant, Robert De Niro
Cinematography – Emmanuel Lubezki
Music – Daniel Pemberton
By Nathan Paul Pasquale
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