Oscar Watch: American Hustle

This fall’s American Hustle, directed by David O. Russell, may be the definition of a surefire Oscar contender.

The six well-known stars of the picture – Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Jeremy Renner, Robert De Niro – have a combined seventeen Oscar nominations and four wins. Of the six, five of them received nominations in films directed by David O. Russell:

Bale won Supporting Actor for The Fighter

Adams was nominated for Supporting Actress for The Fighter

Cooper was nominated for Actor for Silver Linings Playbook

Lawrence won Actress for Silver Linings Playbook

De Niro was nominated for Supporting Actor for Silver Linings Playbook

By the way, Russell’s last two pics (The Fighter and Silver Linings Playbook) were nominated for Best Picture. Russell himself got Best Director nominations for both titles. Beyond his American Hustle actors, it’s also worth noting that Russell directed Melissa Leo to a Supporting Actress win for The Fighter and Jacki Weaver to a Supporting Actress nomination for Silver Linings Playbook. That’s an incredible seven acting nominations in Russell’s last two pics.

Here is the plot outline from the studio:

The Untitled David O. Russell Project is based on the true story of a notorious financial con artist (Bale) and his mistress/partner in crime (Adams), who were forced to work with an out of control federal agent (Cooper) to turn the tables on other con artists, mobsters, and politicians. At the epicenter of the entire tale, is the passionate and volatile leader of the New Jersey state assembly (Renner) who is also the local hero and mayor of impoverished Camden.

And just today, the trailer for the film was released. Bottom line: it looks terrific.

If Russell stays on his winning streak and the top-notch cast delivers, you could see all of them in the mix for potential Oscar nominations. Clearly, its December release hints that the studio feels that way too. Furthermore, this appears to be the type of film that may not only compete for a Best Picture nomination, but be talked about as a likely Best Picture winner. Stay tuned!

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