The suddenly productive David O. Russell—who took six years between I Heart Huckabees and The Fighter—has signed on for yet another project. The Los Angeles Times reports that the director will tackle Buddy Cianci, the former mayor of Providence. The team of Robert De Niro and Jane Rosenthal is on board to produce.
Cianci is a pretty fascinating cat. Just look at the title of his autobiography, which will be the film’s source material: Politics and Pasta: How I Prosecuted Mobsters, Rebuilt a Dying City, Advised a President, Dined With Sinatra, Spent Five Years in a Federally Funded Gated Community and Lived to Tell the Tale.
(For those who want a third-party account of the charming Cianci’s rise and fall, read Mike Stanton’s excellent The Prince of Providence.)
Back to the screen…A movie about Cianci could be terrific. But with all just-announced projects, concerns abound. Primarily, who’s going to play Cianci and how will Russell handle the material? I didn’t think The Fighter, an aggravating crowd-pleaser,was any great breakthrough for the previously artsy Russell, just a working-class burlesque that used Bahstan accents and classic rock to express grit. How it earned so much critical acclaim remains a mystery to me.
My outlook will change depending on how much progress Russell displays with his next film, The Silver Linings Playbook, starring Jennifer Lawrence, De Niro, and Bradley Cooper. That’s due out in the fall. Russell is also developing a biopic on late, big-bazoom loving auteur Russ Meyer.
I just hope one of these films features a cameo from an angry Shania Twain.