Film Trailer Review: American Hustle (2013)

Director David O. Russell reunites with Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence for this new drama, American Hustle.

American Hustle is a new drama directed by David O. Russell and based on the real life 1970’s FBI Abscam Sting operation. The film stars Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper, Jeremy Renner and Robert DeNiro.

Bale and Adams star as Irving Rosenfeld and Sydney Prosser, a boyfriend and girlfriend con-artist team who were nabbed by the feds. The couple were then forced to help a volatile G-Man called Richie DiMaso (played by Bradley Cooper) set up the Abscam FBI operation. The objective was to ensnare corrupt politicians and it resulted in the convictions of a US Senator and five members of the House of Representatives. Jennifer Lawrence plays Irving’s equally volatile wife Rosalyn Rosenfeld while Renner plays Carmine Polito, the Mayor of Camden, New Jersey. De Niro (who is not shown in the trailer) plays a character called Victor Tellegio.

David O. Russell seems to like working with actors who starred in his previous films, Bale and Adams were both in The Fighter which became a big hit for O. Russell back in 2010. Lawrence, De Niro and Cooper also starred in Silver Linings Playbook which was an even bigger hit for the director last year. All the actors are talented and it is nice to see them together in the same film for a change.

The Abscam tale is interesting and good material for a Hollywood movie, it involves corrupt politicians, con men and even the Mafia. David O. Russell has a talent for making dramas with larger than life characters and viewers can expect American Hustle to follow this pattern. Bale and Cooper in particular look hilarious with their dodgy seventies barnets and facial hair. Bale also put on weight for his role and has a rather uncharacteristic beer gut which can be seen in the trailer. Both actors are keen to reinvent themselves and take on different roles which is to be admired. Adams and Lawrence look just as gaudy as their male co-stars and they get plenty of screen-time in the trailer to show off their sublime acting skills.

Rosenfeld and Prosser were masters of the “fix” or con and the former is unrepentant about his life as a trickster. At various points in the trailer Rosenfeld lectures DiMaso about the art of being a con-man and he tries to justify his actions, his character is full of swagger, bravado and showmanship.

The ostentatious attitude permeates the whole trailer which plays out to Led Zeppelin’s “Good Times, Bad Times.” The song is an apt choice  as it perfectly encapsulates the highs and lows the characters go through. The main characters are shown partying and having a good time but scenes showing the downsides of their lifestyles and the trouble they get into are also revealed. The viewer can expect plenty of drama and also some comedy thrown in to lighten things up. The main characters and their interesting personalities seem to be the focus of the trailer as the Abscam operation isn’t really highlighted, it serves merely as a backdrop for the unpredictable characters. This is an interesting approach as it lets the actors shine and do their thing. The only problem is it also means the trailer doesn’t explain what the film is really about. Viewers may enjoy seeing the actors flex their pecs but they will not be given any information about the plot. The Abscam case will no doubt be explored in more detail in the full movie though so there is no cause for concern. The trailer is also very entertaining despite being somewhat obscure.

American Hustle will be released on December 25th, have a look at the trailer and share your thoughts.

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