Trailer for David O. Russell’s ‘American Hustle’ – Christian Bale Works from the Playbook

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David O. Russell turns to his trusted entourage to steal the show, along with a few quarters from phone booths, in the trailer for his upcoming drama, American Hustle, based on Eric Warren Singer’s screenplay.

Starring Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper, Amy Adams, Jennifer Lawrence, and Robert De Niro, all of whom have previously worked under Russell, the film follows the recruitment of a con artist and his partner by an FBI agent, with the intention of repelling the grand-scale hustles involving mobsters and politicians, including Jeremy Renner’s Carmine Polito, the Mayor of Camden, New Jersey.

The teaser trailer, which was premiered on ABC News, features an exchange between Bale’s con artist, Irving Rosenfeld, and Cooper’s perm-sporting FBI agent Richie DiMaso, in which they discuss a fake Rembrandt painting in an art gallery, before Rosenfeld asks: “Now who’s the master? The painter, or the forger?” From here, Led Zeppelin’s Good Times Bad Times is interrupted only by a toast to a new era, and Irving’s concluding accusation that DiMaso has stolen in the past, though he lacks the con-man’s testicular magnitude. In between the sparse dialogue, the trailer appropriately juxtaposes the extravagance and violence experienced by the federal agent and his fraudulent accomplices.

Set for UK release on the 26th December 2013, the film, produced by Annapurna Pictures and Atlas Entertainment, will hope to carry forward the momentum of Russell’s The Fighter (2010) and Silver Linings Playbook (2012), and command and con-quer the box office.

What are your thoughts on the trailer? Will Russell continue to excel, or will American Hustle be consumed by Martin Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall Street? Leave your comments below.

Joe Harvey is the news editor at Critics Associated.