After the last night screening, Vulture put this article together, which is a must-read:
I’ll be honest with you, dear reader: There were times during the making of American Hustle that I wondered if it was all just an elaborate front for a Sony-sponsored slumber party thrown by director David O. Russell, a fun-filled night of dress-up in which Russell and several of his favorite actors (including Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Bradley Cooper, and Jennifer Lawrence) raided Mom and Dad’s closet for groovy seventies fashions and then staged an elaborate, truly outrageous hair show. It would have been an appropriate ruse, given that the movie is about pulling outsize long cons, but no: Turns out American Hustle is a bona fide, honest-to-goodness feature film, and it screened for the very first time in Los Angeles yesterday (with Russell and most of his cast in attendance), leaving only The Wolf of Wall Street as this awards season’s final movie to unspool for press. Though reviews are still embargoed, here are eight things we can already tell you about American Hustle.
What It’s About
If you’re just now catching up, the seventies-set American Hustle is loosely based on the real-life ABSCAM scandal, which ensnared several members of Congress for taking bribes; the title card that begins the movie teases, “Some of this actually happened.” In Russell’s telling, the sting comes about when an ambitious FBI agent (played by a curly haired Cooper) enlists two con-artist lovers (Bale and Adams) in a bribery scam that will take down a kind-hearted but susceptible New Jersey mayor (Jeremy Renner). In addition to the ABSCAM operation, both Bale and Adams are pulling some cons on the side: The tomcatting Bale’s got a hot-tempered wife at home (Lawrence), while Adams is a former stripper from New Mexico who’s forged an upper-class identity that comes complete with a posh British accent.