Christian Bale, B-Cooper & Amy Adams in ‘American Hustle’ trailer: Oscar-baity?

Amy Adams Christian Bale

Is it Oscar season already, folks? If the first trailer for David O. Russell’s American Hustle (formerly the Untitled Abscam Project) is any indication, then there are several contenders who have officially staked their “for your consideration” ads in this one movie. The five main players — Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper, Amy Adams, Jennifer Lawrence, and Jeremy Renner — have all been nominated (and in Christian and Jennifer’s cases, won) Oscar awards. And David O. Russell has traditionally been an Oscar-bait director, without a doubt.

Of course, Russell’s last effort, Silver Linings Playbook, was nominated for several Oscars (including Best Picture) last year but was also criticized for being too light-handed in the treatment of its subject matter (mental illness, family dysfunction, and death). Somehow, I don’t think American Hustle will fall prey to the same sort of criticism. Here’s the first trailer, and we’ll discuss below:

Bradley Cooper Christian Bale

Here’s the gist of the plot — Bale and Adams are also playing scam artists who are forced to work with BCoop’s character (an “unhinged FBI agent”) to help uncover high-level political corruption, including that of Jeremy Renner as Carmine Polito (mayor of Camden, NJ). Meanwhile, JLaw plays Bale’s sad, drunken, and mostly disinterested wife while he’s having an affair with Adams, who is clearly shaking it. Louis C.K. also has a tiny role too, which should be interesting.

This movie seems, like most of Russell’s films, to be an almost entirely character-driven movie even though it is (mostly) historically rooted in the Abscam scandal of the late ’70s/early ’80s. The cinematography is unmistakably that of a Russell film, and the hair and styling is so-very Scarface/Blow/Boogie Nights. Plus, running the trailer to the tune of Led Zepplin’s “Good Times, Bad Times”? Genius.

Now here’s the real question — where will the awards fall this year? Amy Adams seems most overdue with three Oscar nominations, and if her presence in this trailer is any indication, she’s well on her way to a fourth nod.

Now I would be remiss if I didn’t admit that the single most thrilling moment for me in this trailer is spotting BCoop’s lovely little pink curlers. And I don’t even mean that in a terrible way because he’s my favorite fug serial killer and was very excited about the perm in his own right. Will Bradley receive another Oscar nomination this year, and will people finally take him seriously?

Bradley Cooper

Amy Adams

Christian Bale

Bradley Cooper

Photos courtesy of Fame/Flynet and AllMoviePhoto

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91 Responses to “Christian Bale, B-Cooper & Amy Adams in ‘American Hustle’ trailer: Oscar-baity?”

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  1. Amelia says:

    The hairstyles. The combover. Jeremy’s *suit*.
    I am making sure my butt is glued to a cinema seat when this comes out.
    Is anyone else quite . . . well, not necessarily pleased, but glad that the ‘other woman’ is older and savvier than the wife this time? For once not just eye candy (although Amy looks incredible in that dress) with giant bolt-ons and extensions.

    • Badirene says:

      Yeah, it is very refreshing that the love interest/other woman is older and its also sad that it happens so rarely in film too. Also will be heading to the cinema for this.

      Oh and Christian Bale with the bad hair and suit? I still would (hangs head in shame).

      • Liv says:

        How is it even possible that he’s still attractive with this costume and hair?! 😉

      • Sixer says:

        Not sure. But I would, too.

      • balehead2012 says:

        Ladies, just stand in line, please! He’s all mine 😀

      • TheOriginalKitten says:

        Sorry ladies–’70s Bale and I are already banging.

        On a shag carpet.

        In a sunken living room, with a lava lamp casting a beautiful glow on his rippling abs.

      • Feebee says:

        That pic of him and Amy (with her back to camera) just made my day 🙂

      • Ginger says:

        It’s nice to know I’m not the only one crushing on Christian Bale in any way, shape or form. I thought I’d died and gone to heaven in the last Batman film…Bale, Neeson and Hardy all in the same movie!

    • T.C. says:

      Isn’t the “other woman” always savvier than the dumb wife who has no idea her husband is cheating on her? At least in the movies. Amy Adams looks HAWT in that bikini reveal and I’m straight. It looks like every outfit she is wearing in this film has major boobs flashing so men will love her as the mistress.

      • Andrea says:

        And Amy’s boobs are real.

        I love Jlaw but she is 22 years old. Amy is 38 and she’s got a child. Which means if I’m giving props for hotness here Amy is going to win.

        Adams is the epitome of staying hot as you age. I hope to God no one talks her into unfortunate plastic surgery in the years to come.

      • Side-Eye says:

        I’d have to disagree. Amy Adams is very pretty, but in this movie at least, I’d have to give it to Jen,and I’m not sure why age has anything to do with it? Pretty is pretty and age has nothing to do with it.

    • blue marie says:

      agreed. the hair is fantastic!

    • MsAubra says:


      Bad hair, bad clothes, and probably some cheesy funny overracting…I am there with you!!

  2. Shauna says:

    I think BCoop looks very perfect and maybe born for that role. Dude looks fly.

  3. HQ says:

    I’m surprised by JLaw’s presence in the trailer, from everything I’ve read Jennifer’s role is only a cameo. ‘The wife’ character was barely in the original draft of the script. The main love triangle is between Bale/Adams/Cooper. And she shot her part during her small break after Award Season, HG reshots but before X-men started.

  4. Tanguerita says:

    I have to say Coop looks the least interesting in this otherwise awesome trailer. Bale upstages him every second they spend together in the same frame.

    • Liv says:

      I must say I agree.

      Love Cooper, but Christian Bale is – like always – amazing. And they all look hilarious, can’t wait to see the film!

    • Turtle Dove says:

      Bale is amazing, isn’t he.

    • Algernon says:

      And we barely get to see Jeremy Renner in this. Between Bale and Renner, Coop doesn’t stand a chance.

      I give Coop credit for commitment and the amount of work he’ll put into a role, but he really is not on the same level as these guys. Everything about SLP was crafted to help him shine, but going up against Bale and Renner (and Amy Adams) is going to expose every one of his weaknesses.

    • Lena says:

      So what if Bale’s a talented actor — he’s the biggest douche on planet hollywood which makes him ugly on the inside

  5. Tapioca says:

    Amy Adams has had FOUR Oscar nods (all for supporting) and looks fabulous in that blue dress.

  6. Lilyvanilli says:

    Amy Adams has managed her career so well in regards to role and director choices and is overdue for an Oscar nod .

    • Andrea says:

      She is extremely career savy.

      Look at her choices just in the last 2 years. She was the female lead in the biggest movie of the summer. Say what you want about Henry Cavill but Man of Steel made like 650 million dollars. It made more money than any non-sequel film in the genre ever. She got to play Lois Lane.

      Now she has this movie coming out. She had the Master last year. She’s got that movie with Tim Burton “Big Eyes” which should make her a loco for LEAD next year at the Oscars. She’s producing projects on her own.

      And, like it or hate it, she is the female lead in the upcoming Superman/Batman movie. Which, you know, is going to make money. I have no idea if its going to be any good but there is zero doubt it’s going to be a project getting tons of attention.

      Amy Adams is, dare I say, kind of a brilliant career woman. That “Princess persona” is just an act. She knows exactly what she is doing. She is no fool.

      • Leah says:

        she has excellent taste, some actor, i forgot which one, said half your career is made by the choices you make. amy adams picks great project, she has hardly put a foot wrong.

    • Liv says:

      I like her and I appreciate her talent and how she presents herself as a woman.

      I thought she was the wrong choice in Superman though. Absolutely no chemistry with Cavill.

      • Andrea says:

        Oh I disagree completely. I thought they had sparky, great chemistry when the movie allowed them to TALK.

        Man of Steel was too loud and had a lack of focus on the actors. But Amy and Henry were great in the little moments they had.

        There was TONS of potential in Man of Steel that the director blew. That was not the fault of the actors.

        Either way, they have got thousands of women shipping it like crazy over on tumblr/ pin interest etc. So the chemistry clearly worked for some people despite the flaws of the film.

      • Liv says:

        Ha, I expected to face backlash 😉 But seriously, I thought they were like brother and sister, totally ruined the film for me.

        I do look forward to see her with Bale though, they look great together! Can’t wait!

      • Andrea says:

        @Liv, yeah sorry I didn’t get that at all. That actually baffles me.

        It wasn’t a romantic movie and the script was flawed and the director did nothing to help them. But the sparks were there. Especially in that way too brief scene in the cornfield.

        ::shrugs:: Chemistry is really subjective but it worked for me. To each their own.

  7. Bubulle says:

    Meh Christian Bale is so overrated he is a caricature here, Jennifer Lawrence looks like a kid playing dress up, Bradley Cooper looks dull and this perm hair is tragic, Amy Adams is the only saving grace.

  8. Tessa says:

    Amy looks so beautiful in this trailer.

  9. Turtle Dove says:

    His movies may be good, but DOR has shown himself to be a despicable person. Maybe he’s changed since the Clooney Three Kings and Lily Tomlin I Heart Huckabees scream-fest, tyrant directorials??? I hope so because it disturbs me that there are so many f–cked up directors out there working.

    • Stace says:

      I remember seeing the I Heart Huckabees video on YouTube and being shocked.

      I can only speak on my small interaction with David O. Russell from a few years back. I was aware of his reputation at the time, but wanted to form my opinion of him based on my experience. I took away that he was a very passionate director. He had a great energy even after hours of shooting. From then on, I’ve had a different perspective on him and greatly admire his talent and work. Can’t wait to see this film – Cooper, Renner, Adams and Lawrence? All my favorites!

      • Turtle Dove says:

        @ Stace – Passion I can understand and respect, but the degrading people is unprofessional (understatement).

        What you don’t say, Stace, is how he treated the crew and cast. If it was the same as 3K or I❤H then, brilliant or not, I shun his work.

      • TheOriginalKitten says: did you make that “heart”?

      • Turtle Dove says:

        @ TheOriginalKitten

        On my iMac (and PCs have it too, but I’m not sure the path is the same) I go to Edit/Special Characters/Bullets-Stars. There are a lot of other characters and you can add them to a favorite bank.

    • Tiffany says:

      I don’t see actors of the caliber working with him again and again if his rep has not changed. I could be wrong. Poor Amy Adams, every year can be her year but there is always serious competition for her. I think she is going to be overshadowed by Blanchett and Streep.

      • Turtle Dove says:

        @ Tiffany – He creates caliber films and people like to align themselves with these individuals. But Polansky and Allen create good work too and, well,…. Putting his shady dating habits aside, when Clooney says he won’t work with someone again, that says a lot.

        Hopefully, DOR has reformed his ways – Keep the passion, but ditch the attitude.

      • Stace says:

        @turtledove I completely agree. I don’t stand for people being rude, disrerespectful or degrading of others. Again, I can only speak on what I saw, but David appeared to treat everyone on the set well. I was a lowly extra and he was kind and enthusiastic towards me and my friend. Interacting with the cast and crew, he was completely professional and supportive. Hopefully, he experienced some personal growth since his I Heart Huckabees days.

      • Turtle Dove says:

        @ Stace

        It’s nice to hear that. He had a reputation for treating those below him quite poorly, but I’ll take your word that he’s changed his ways.

  10. Anna says:

    Bale is amazing in this trailer. Totally transformed. And the fashion is going to be EPIC.

    • TheOriginalKitten says:

      I would see this film even if it WASN’T filmed in my town–but that just makes it EXTRA-special. Seriously can’t wait. SO many movies to look forward to this fall!

    • I Choose Me says:

      Yes. I really like all the other actors in this movie but I’m seeing it for Bale. With one exception (Terminator Salvation) I’ve never not loved him in a movie. I’ll be seeing this as soon as it comes to my neck of the woods.

  11. Leah says:

    Oh this looks good. I love all the actors involved, well cooper is not my fave but the others are excellent.

  12. mo says:

    Christian Bale is genius. Maybe a bit hotheaded, but genius.

  13. akua says:

    They all look good..kind of Wolf of Wall street..any way..i hope Amy Adams get Oscar Nom for this…Bale and Jlaw will have to sit down on this…despite my love for her…

    • Liv says:

      Jennifer has just a supporting role, don’t think that she or anyone else thought she would be up for an Oscar for this film.

      It was mentioned by commenters in other articles that Russell just put her in this film to see if she has chemistry with Bale.

      • Bubulle says:

        Weird choice, she looks way too young to be Bale’s wife, Adam is way sexier and believable as his mistress.

  14. Andrea says:

    Amy Adams looks stunning and sexy in this trailer. I love Jlaw but I’m thrilled that Adams came in as the late 30’s actress and CAME TO PLAY.

    Also, Adams has FOUR Oscar nominations in a 7 year period. Not 3. This would be her 5th.

  15. Jules says:

    Looks great!…really looking forward to this one, everyone looks terrific (my crush on Jennifer Lawrence grows!). They seem to have the 70’s vibe down pat which is ….groovy.

  16. Maya says:

    Sorry – I think 12 years a slave with wipe out the Oscars next year. Director, actor, supporting actor, movie, supporting actress all will go to them (I hope).

  17. Jackson says:

    I cannot wait to see this movie. And I’m probably the only geek to care about this, but the graphics style/font used in the trailer were fab and a perfect choice. Details matter, people!!

  18. Talie says:

    It’d be nice to see Amy finally get a nomination in the Lead category after playing bridesmaid the last four times.

  19. KarenLi says:

    Anyone else remember Jennifer Lawrence complaining about overexposed sexuality of women and there not being enough “Strong women” roles? She referenced some sexy photoshoot she once did (try googling it, it’s her wet and half naked) and said she really regrets it, but she strips in this movie.

    She really is the queen of saying what sounds good and what people want to hear, like her whole “Carbs and potatoes taste so much better than being skinny feels”.

  20. Samtha says:

    Meow! Amy Adams looks amazing in that, and Bale is brilliant as always.

  21. Sloane Wyatt says:

    I was around during this time period, and let me tell all you little whippersnappers that it was just as fun as this movie looks! “American Hustle” looks like what “The Great Gatsby” wanted to be when it grew up.

    The MUSIC, the clothes, the free wheeling energy was heavenly and so heady you knew it would never last.

  22. booger says:

    “And David O. Russell has traditionally been an Oscar-bait director, without a doubt.”

    Spanking the Monkey, Flirting With Disaster, Three Kings, Soldiers Pay, and I Heart Huckabees (aka most of his repertoire) aren’t oscar bait movies. It’s only been in the last few years that his movies started getting mainstream hardware recognition.

    Also, Amy Adams has four oscar nominations. Not three.

  23. lenje says:

    I’m thrilled that Bale seems to be having fun with his role here. Renner is very good, and not many remember that he’s got 2 Oscar noms under his belt. I think Cooper’s talent has been underrated. He’s very good in The Words and The Place Beyond The Pines.

  24. M. says:

    Love the trailer!!…I really think everyone involved nailed the 70’s look (being born in 1966, I remember ABSCAM and the mid to late 70’s)very well. I also think (imho) that Lawrence, Bale and Adams steal the show here (at least in the trailer). Lawrence has that tragic beauty thing going on and it made me feel sorry for her character so, that’s bodes well.

    All in all, American Hustle looks very promising, and it looks like it will be an awards contender, no question about it.

  25. j.eyre says:

    I understand this is the first trailer but I found it to be style over substance. Maybe Mr. Russell assumes we all know how talented that cast is and did not see it as necessary to put their acting on display. The scene about the forgery, Bale went far to deep on that. I am not sold.

    I did not know those were the criticisms of SLP. I very much disagree, he kept the tone of the book beautifully, I felt.

    • Marty says:

      I agree it is very stylistic, but they probably want to “grab” the audience attention with this trailer and go for a more serious trailer later on.

      I know I’m in the minority, but I didn’t think SLP was that great. It was a good film and I liked it but after seeing Jennifer Lawence’s performance, I really didn’t get what the big deal was. I thought she was better in Winter’s Bone tbh.

    • Andrea says:

      J. eyre, how is the book for Silver Linings Playbook? Do you reccommend it? I enjoyed the movie….

      • j.eyre says:

        I did enjoy the book very much, Andrea. It is not perfectly written but for the subject matter, it’s good. I don’t know how it will be reading after you see the movie because the book reveals some information later than the movie and that was quote intriguing for me.

        Also, I am a big football fan the the team devotion throughout the movie was really fun for me.

  26. Mitch Buchanan Rocks! says:

    Too bad they didn’t get Mark Ruffalo instead of Bcoop.

  27. scottiee says:

    I beleive that Bradley will be nominated for his work in this movie but probably will not win. I hope he continues to take on serious movies and characters, especially after Hangover. He can be very good in the right movie. I think he will surprise everyone in his performace in this film also.

  28. lisa says:

    cooper’s wig looks like a retro vulva

  29. IrishGirl says:

    Holy shit, this looks fantastic!….I love this cast so much it hurts. I love thst Lawrence has such great taste in the roles she chooses for one so young.

  30. IrishGirl says:

    @J.eyre: I agree, regarding SLP, couldn’t agree more.

  31. kennedy says:

    One correction: Amy Adams is already a 4 time Oscar nominee: Junebug, Doubt, The Fighter, The Master.

  32. Ginger says:

    I’m having serious Amy Adams hair envy! And yes she is hot! I’m always in line for a movie with Christian Bale. I loved the chemistry between j law and b coop in silver linings. This film looks promising!

  33. Bijlee says:

    Wow it’s really the year of historical films no? Fruitvale, the butler, 12 years, long walk to freedom, this abscam thing, the fifth estate, that Dallas buyers club, and it seems like a lot more.

    And I can wait till its at redbox. Not that excited for it.

  34. Happy21 says:

    I. Cannot.Wait.

    That is all!

  35. Mam says:

    This is incredible!! Bale is going to get nod and Adams too. I am so curious because they didn’t show Renner acting so maybe they are saving it for a surprise in which case probably get another nod. Coop maybe but not on this one I think he is better place beyond the Pines. I think David OR is campaigning from now, he must have learn how Affleck did it and he is beginning early.

  36. phlyfiremama says:

    Amy Adams looks more like Nicole Kidman than Nicole Kidman does. (*blinks)

  37. moon says:

    Amy’s already had four nominations actually, not three. Hate to say this cause I love JLaw – but next to the other three (Amy, Bale, Bradley) she’s looking a little outclassed. She looks like she’s doing a ScarJo here – flat and dead acting. Maybe that’s the characterisation, but she seems flat.

  38. IrishGirl says:

    Wow, not what I see at all!….just from the trailer, Lawrence is killing it as the beautiful mess. So, no not outclassed, more than holding her own. Now, Cooper on the other hand….I never totally buy him in most of his roles.

  39. Side-Eye says:

    The trailer was alright to me, but it has a pretty good cast. I don’t really care about Renner or Cooper, but I LOVE Bale and adore Amy Adams, and I can see Lawrence holding her own as small as her role looks to be.

  40. LilyRose says:

    Don’t know if it’s been brought up, but Adams would have a fifth nomination. She’s had four: Junebug, Doubt, The fighter and The Master. If she gets nominated it would be her fifth.

    And Bale would probably get nominated for either this or Out of the Furnace, which is getting award buzz as well.

    ETA: I see the nomination issue has been brought up. Carry on 🙂

  41. Arjuna says:

    Damn, Jennifer Lawrence is breaking my heart in this trailer!. It looks like there will be a confrontation scene between Lawrence and Adams…..can’t wait!.

  42. Halicon says:

    I like the cast but from the trailer most of the dialogue from Bale seems over the top and a little campy to me. I think DOR is overrated director, while I think his movies are alright they always seem lacking in some areas for me.

    For the Oscars I think this movie might be too similar to Leo’s Wolf on Wall Street. From the trailers I find Wolf more engaging and while there was some campiness from that movie as well I think they pull it off better.

  43. gefeylich says:

    Cooper looks like the late Leonard Frey in this. And if he gets an Oscar nomination it will be because his PR people moved heaven and earth to get it. The guy is marginally talented at best. His success is tied to his…connections, not his “talent.”

  44. jackie says:

    Renner smiles more in this trailer than in all his other films put together and he is shown crying. Ithink he might end up being the most interesting thing in this, certainly different.