American Hustle marks the third part in a three-film evolution for filmmaker David Russell. Beginning with The Fighter, continuing with Silver Linings Playbook, and playing out on a larger canvas than ever before in American Hustle, Russell centers on characters who are trying to change their lives through a process of reinvention. "These are movies about people whose lives have not gone the way they wanted or intended," he explains. "There remains something deeply lovable about them, but they're also heartbreaking. They spend the entire film, not just the third act, reckoning with who they are and how they are going to find their way to love life again. These characters have their sense of who they are splintered into pieces, and are wondering not just what they're going to do, but how they're going to care about life again, how they're going to love again. And it is important to me that they are passionate people who do or have truly loved life in some specific ways. This is as important to me as the ordeal of how they persevere, come out the other side, humbled and their love intact or renewed. It is no cliché when it is, as Irving says, lived from the feet up."
A fictional film set in the alluring world of one of the most extraordinary scandals of the 1970s, American Hustle tells the story of brilliant con man Irving Rosenfeld (Christian Bale), who along with his equally cunning and seductive partner Sydney Prosser (Amy Adams) is forced to work for a wild FBI agent Richie DiMaso (Bradley Cooper). DiMaso pushes them into a world of Jersey powerbrokers and mafia that’s as dangerous as it is enchanting. Jeremy Renner is Carmine Polito, the passionate, volatile, New Jersey political operator caught between the con-artists and Feds. Irving’s unpredictable wife Rosalyn (Jennifer Lawrence) could be the one to pull the thread that brings the entire world crashing down. Like David O. Russell’s two previous films, American Hustle defies genre to tell a story of love, reinvention, and survival.
Life doesn’t always go according to plan.
Pat Solatano (Bradley Cooper) has lost everything -- his house, his job, and his wife. He now finds himself living back with his mother (Jacki Weaver) and father (Robert De Niro) after spending 8 months in a state institution on a plea bargain. Pat is determined to rebuild his life, remain positive and reunite with his wife, despite the challenging circumstances of their separation. All Pat’s parents want is for him to get back on his feet - and to share their family’s obsession with their favorite Philadelphia football team. When Pat meets Tiffany (Jennifer Lawrence), a mysterious girl with problems of her own, things get complicated. Tiffany offers to help Pat reconnect with his wife, but only if he'll do something very important for her in return. As their deal plays out, an unexpected bond begins to form between them, and silver linings appear in both of their lives.
Inspired by an incredible true story, The Fighter is the gritty, affectionately humorous, yet stirring comeback tale of the unlikely boxing hero, “Irish” Micky Ward (MARK WAHLBERG), and his half-brother, Dicky Eklund (CHRISTIAN BALE), who had to come apart as opponents before coming together as brothers in a scrappy fight to win a long-shot championship and strengthen the bonds of their family.
Years in the making, The Fighter was shot in just 33 days on the blue-collar streets of Lowell, Massachusetts. Early on, producers David Hoberman and Todd Lieberman fell in love with the story of Micky and Dicky and saw that it was about so much more than just an underdog’s athletic victory. Star/producer Mark Wahlberg, director David O. Russell and a close-knit cast and crew united behind a vision to bring Micky and Dicky’s deeply human family to life in a series of alternately comic, tender, bruising and triumphant moments that unfold as much in the living room as in the boxing ring.
“The Fighter is about family, love, relationships and overcoming adversity. The drama of the story is as powerful as the boxing is exciting,” explains Mark Wahlberg, who trained intensively for several years to take on the physically and emotionally demanding lead role of Micky Ward. “David O. Russell really had a great view of the script, of this world and the people in it. David got that scrappy spirit of the movie, and we did exactly that.”