As often happens towards the end of the calendar year, a late contender is surging in the Oscar race. The New York Film Critics Circle named American Hustle best picture on Tuesday. The film also won best screenplay and best supporting actress for Jennifer Lawrence.
After early Oscar buzz for films like 12 Years a Slave, Fruitvale Station and Dallas Buyers Club, David O. Russel’s American Hustle — which is set for a late Dec. 13 release — is beginning to catch fire. Russell’s last two films, The Fighter and Silver Linings Playbook, were both nominated for Academy Awards.
So it isn’t so far-fetched that a Russell film could finally get a win, especially considering that the director is recycling critically-acclaimed actors from his last two films to play the four leads in this movie: Amy Adams and Christian Bale both got Oscar noms for 2010′s The Fighter, and Bale won; Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper were in contention to win Academy Awards last year, and Lawrence took home an Oscar. Plus Russell added Jeremy Renner, who has been nominated for two Oscars, to the ensemble.
Yes, they’re all in over-the-top 70s costumes. And yes, Bradley Cooper’s hair looks ridiculous. But with early critical acclaim and these NYFCC awards under its belt, American Hustle could go all the way.