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Spot the Scorsese Style in 'American Hustle'

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Directors Martin Scorsese and David O. Russell are both nominated for Academy Awards this Sunday. But if Scorsese doesn't win for "The Wolf of Wall Street," perhaps he can find some solace should Russell take home the Oscar for "American Hustle."

That's because anyone who is a fan of Scorsese's work shouldn't have any trouble picking up on how it influenced some of what Russell did with "Hustle." Watching the 1991 gangster classic "Goodfellas" should provide enough insight.

You like slow-motion shots and a classic rock soundtrack? Check. Super 8 home movies? Check. Camera shooting from the trunk of a car? Check. Freeze-frame to allow a voice-over backstory? Check again.

Asked whether Scorsese has had an impact on his work, Russell said, "He's a great filmmaker and to not be influenced by him would be impossible. I am a fan for sure. But I'd also like to think we're doing something that is, as Duke Ellington said about what he aspired to in his music, beyond category. We're trying to bring characters and stories that are beyond category."

In the categories of best director and best picture on Sunday, we'll see if either filmmaker's story unfolds to their liking.

— Kurt Schlosser

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