April 16, 2013 at 5:58 pm #98739
The new David O. Russell Abscam movie appears to finally have a title: American Hustle. I’ve heard that it is adapted from a book. Has anybody read it? It seems to me that there is a lot of potential for a great film here. Actually, my thought when I read through the history of Abscam was incredulity. It amazes me that there hasn’t been a movie made of it!
I’ll try to summarize what I know from the actual history so far. Mel Weinberg was a con man who as part of a plea deal with the FBI agreed to help them when they needed it. So they brought him into what was known as the Abdul Scam (Abscam) where public officials would be convinced to abuse the power of their office to give a Middle Eastern sheikh (played by Mel Weinberg) various favors including political asylum and help with money laundering. In return, he would give them bribes or contributions to their political campaigns. Five members of the US House of Representatives and one US Senator were eventually convicted (as well as other local officials). And one US Senator, Larry Pressler, flatly refused the bribe (caught on tape) and was hailed as a hero. In the aftermath, Congress was upset at the FBI for running a sting operation against them, so they limited their power.
From what I also understand, Weinberg was simultaneously conning and extorting others and the FBI at the time of Abscam, so the FBI protected him so that his credibility wouldn’t be blown in the trials. Weinberg also had some major issues with his wife due to keeping a mistress. Apparently he was such a creature of habit that he had two identical houses where his wife and mistress each lived. Eventually, things came to a head with his wife (who was a troubled soul to start with) and they divorced. It got really ugly at this point and she started telling people about what really happened. Mel Weinberg attacked her for this and threatened to take away her adopted son due to her previous mental health issues. She eventually was so heartbroken that she committed suicide.
The main characters in the film will be:
Mel Weinberg, the conman – Christian Bale
Maxine “Max” Gardner, the mistress of Mel – Amy Adams
James “Jimmy” Boyle, the FBI handler – Bradley Cooper
Marie Weinberg, the wife of Mel – Jennifer LawrenceApril 16, 2013 at 6:05 pm #98741
David O. Russell, American Hustle
That rhymes.April 16, 2013 at 6:33 pm #98742
David O. Russell, American Hustle
As an addendum, if the screenplay of Abscam is anything close to the history of Abscam, it is now obvious why Jennifer Lawrence was brought into this project. And the people who complained about her being too young for Silver Linings Playbook are going to have a field day with this role! Marie was 50 when she died.April 16, 2013 at 7:05 pm #98743
It’s been stated that it’s merely “inspired” by true events. It’s loosely based on the actual Abscam development and the individuals involved (except maybe Bale’s character). And I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s got more dramedy elements than expected (judging by the filming pictures).April 16, 2013 at 10:29 pm #98744
Wow! Didn’t even realize this did not have a topic. The set photos are hilariously campy.April 17, 2013 at 6:43 am #98745
“American Hustle”? Ugh. I liked “Abscam” better than that.April 17, 2013 at 7:17 am #98746
“American Hustle”? Ugh. I liked “Abscam” better than that.
me too.April 18, 2013 at 5:45 pm #98747
I don’t mind the title, but yeah Abscam would’ve been better.
Does anyone reckon this film will be a big awards player then, if it goes according to plan and gets released this December and doesn’t flop or get panned? Personally, at the Oscars, I think it’ll be nominated for:
Picture – Seems the type that’ll have enough support to get in, especially with the up to 10 nominees. And if any frontrunners fall flat on their face ala Social Network, Les Miserables…. Then it might (and its a very big might) win.
Director – DOR will squeeze in if since he’s obviously popular with the directors branch with 2 past noms. Same with best picture, if other frontrunners fall, he could snatch a win.
Screenplay – This seems a given. I don’t know if it’s original or adapted but either way I can imagine it getting in here.
Actor (Christian Bale) – I don’t think with a previous win so recently, he’ll win, but since he’s lead, and very much a good actor, I think he could get nominated.
Actress/Supporting Actress (Amy Adams) – Don’t know what category she’ll fit into.But she’s very talented and well liked within the academy what with all the nominations, so she could cash in on those previous nominations and play the overdue card. Not tempting fate, but if she slays, I think (and hope) she stands a fair chance at winning. Even if she does a competent performance and none of the other nominees do well, she still probably would win!
Supporting Actor (Bradley Cooper) – He has an advantage to be nominated because he’s still riding on that last nomination, not to mention its likely he has a part large enough to be lead, but but would be in supporting because Bale will be campaigned in lead. Which would give Cooper an edge over actual supporting actors. Can’t imagine a win though.
Supporting Actor (Jeremy Renner) – This is a lot less likely than Cooper but I can see Renner getting in if his performance is good enough and the role is juicy enough because; he’s got two nominations already and he’s helmed blockbusters as well as appearing in indies (like Lowlife, which would be out that year) and also, if anyone can get a ton of his actors nominated, it’s David O. Russell, look how the Fighter and SLP did!
Besides that I can see a nomination in editing. And if the category is mediocre I could see a sound mixing nomination. And if the category is weak I could see costume design, score and/or sound editing nominations.
Thats what I think at the moment, obviously it’s not very accurate, but those are my very early guesses. What does everyone think?
April 18, 2013 at 7:09 pm #98748
Director – David O.Russell
Actor – Christian Bale
Supporting Actor – Bradley Cooper
Supporting Actress – Amy Adams & Jennifer Lawrence
Hair and Makeup
Thinking has chance at production design but haven’t seen anything to support that claim.
April 18, 2013 at 7:10 pm #98749
I’m also thinking of a potential Jennifer Lawrence nomination for Supporting Actress if the movie includes the part where Marie tried to tell the truth on Abscam but was harrassed to the point of suicide. I think this will be included because it would be the final gut punch in the movie that makes Mel Weinberg look not only like a prick, but a complete monster. It will also greatly improve Christian Bale’s chances for Lead Actor if he has those parts to play against. And it will complete the triad: comedy -> drama -> tragedy.April 18, 2013 at 10:43 pm #98750
I really don’t see this as a “tragedy”. We’ll see.
Providing a well received film that does well at the BO, I can only see Picture, Director, Actor, Costume, and maybe editing.
Pruction design, sound, score, etc, predicitons would have to wait till its release.April 30, 2013 at 2:24 am #98751
Here is some supposed synopsis for the film: Amy is now british and the film seems to hve nothing to actually do with abscam
“American Hustle” follows con man Irving Rosenfeld (Bale), who along with his equally cunning British partner and lover Sydney Prosser (Adams) is forced to work for wild, unhinged FBI agent Richie DiMaso (Cooper), according to the release.
“DiMaso pushes them into a world of Jersey power brokers and mafia that’s as dangerous as it is enchanting,” the release said. “Renner is Carmine Polito, the passionate, volatile, New Jersey political operator caught between the con artists and Feds. Irving’s unpredictable wife, Rosalyn (Lawrence), could be the one to pull the thread that brings the entire world crashing down.”April 30, 2013 at 2:52 am #98752
Cooper have big potential for a nom in Actor too, dont know supportive or Lead….we see
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