December is usually a packed month for cinemas, but this year’s December looks especially ripe with quality films. Unfortunately, a few are going to fall through the cracks with a reported 14 movies going for a nationwide release. One of the films with the brightest chance of fighting through the tight schedule is American Hustle, from director and new Academy darling David O. Russell. His last two films, The Fighter and Silver Linings Playbook, opened small but had leggy box-office runs through awards season.
If delays in the editing room end up moving Martin Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall Street to 2014, a glimpse at American Hustle‘s second trailer shows that fans of that director’s films have no reason to panic. From the rock and roll soundtrack to the period-perfect details, and from a story of mobsters and con men to having Robert de Niro in the ensemble, American Hustle looks like vintage Scorsese.
The film is set in the 1970s and follows a con man (Christian Bale, who seems to keep gaining weight for performances only to lose the fat for another role) and his partner-in-crime (Amy Adams), who team up with an FBI agent (Bradley Cooper) to help turn the tables on the Jersey Mafia and other political figures. Jeremy Renner, Jennifer Lawrence, Robert de Niro and Louis CK (blink and you’ll miss him at the 1:58 mark of the trailer) round out the star-studded cast.
Although the trailer does not spell out a clear, defined storyline, note that The Fighter and Silver Linings Playbook had to play down some of the edgier content, like drug addiction and bipolar disorder, for their ads.
American Hustle comes out in limited release on December 13 and will go wide on Christmas Day. Then, we’ll see if David O. Russell can, for the second year in a row, direct four actors to Oscar nominations.