Bennett Miller won a best-director Oscar nomination for Capote, a film about the corruption of a literary icon, and two years later has himself cashed in an artistic reputation by directing an American Express commercial aired for the first time during last night's Academy Awards. The star of the ad is fashion designer Diane Von Furstenberg, who supposedly became "independent" and confident as a result of fashion — a great message when you are trying to pimp financial services to small businesses. Left unsaid: Von Furstenberg was married to a Swiss prince from a wealthy family when she first broke in to fashion, and would hardly have wanted for startup capital. During and after that time, she was in a long-term relationship with entertainment mogul Barry Diller, to whom she is now married and who can easily pay whatever Amex charges the fashion designer might incur. Of course the ad is beautiful and feels honest, a testament to Miller's skill at spooling out a plausible dramatic narrative on film, and of course to his lack of a rich spouse who can save him from having to make commercials:
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