How bright are the celestial bodies sporting almost-unanimously terrible hairstyles on this poster? About as incandescent as they come: Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper, Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, and Jennifer Lawrence. Oscar winners or nominees one and all.
And these stars of the contemporary film firmament are just the above-the-title talent in American Hustle. Lending support but making the cut on this piece of promotional art are the likes of Robert De Niro, Michael Pena, Louis CK, Jack Huston, Alessandro Nivola, and Anthony Zerbe. De Niro is a legend, Pena is the secret weapon of every movie in which he appears, CK is behind probably the best comedy on television, and Huston crushes it regularly as Richard Harrow on Boardwalk Empire.
But with perennial awards-season heavy hitters like Adams, Bale, Renner, Lawrence, and Cooper in the central roles, it only makes sense that Columbia Pictures is selling this film so largely on its ensemble, which is basically a dream team cobbled together from pieces of Russell's last two crazy-successful efforts.
Russell has gotten his groove back over the last several years after being unable to even finish Nailed. Even if he hadn't found an unassailable middlebrow groove between The Fighter and Silver Linings Playbook, Russell still directed Three Kings, Spanking the Monkey, andFlirting With Disaster. So respect.
Even the polarizing I Heart Huckabees is a singular little piece of work that's really admirable in how happily it alienates 97% of the audience right off the bat and never even tries to reel them back. It's got personality.
With American Hustle, Russell tells a tale that's a fictionalized version of a real-life scandal that played out between 1978 and 1980.
Bale stars as Irving Rosenfeld, a fine art conman from the Bronx who is enlisted in the ABSCAM, a federal Long Island corruption investigation. His minder is played by Cooper as "unhinged" FBI agent Richie DiMaso. Adams is Sydney, Irving's British lover also forced to partake in shady dealings between politicians and the mafia. Lawrence, meanwhile, plays Irving's wife, a volatile character who jeopardizes the whole charade.
American Hustle opens in New York and Los Angeles on December 13th before expanding nationwide on Wednesday, December 18th.