American Hustle (15) ***

Diane Keaton and Brendan Gleeson in Hampstead.

Cinema and TRAILER: Keaton brings the common touch to the Heath in tale of London life

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Oscar winner Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper reunite with Silver Linings Playbook director David O Russell for this comedy about a hare-brained scheme to expose corruption within the hallowed corridors of political power in the late 1970s.

Irving Rosenfeld (Christian Bale) is a brilliant con man, who is trapped in a loveless marriage with a harridan wife, Rosalyn (Lawrence), who has made it painfully clear that she will demand sole custody of their son if Irving dares to divorce her.

Amy Adams and Christian Bale in American Hustle.

Amy Adams and Christian Bale in American Hustle.

So Irving throws himself into his illegal work, recruiting an inexperienced sidekick Sydney Prosser (Amy Adams), who poses as a rich English aristocrat in order to secure funds from gullible businessmen.

Irving and Sydney are arrested by ambitious FBI agent, Richie DiMaso (Cooper), who forces them to put their dubious talents to good use to entrap Mayor Carmine Polito (Jeremy Renner) and his associates in the

underworld.

As Irving and Sydney prepare to lure Camine into their trap, an increasingly jealous and vengeful Rosalyn threatens to destroy the undercover operation as well as Irving’s burgeoning love for his gorgeous assistant.

This film involved a large weight gain for Bale, who’s played Batman on three occasions, but it’s not the first time he’s dramatically changed his body for a role.

Back in 2004, he became emaciated in order to portray an insomniac in The

Machinist, and then lost weight again to play a drug addict in Russell’s The Fighter in 2010.

Bale’s now reunited with the director for his waist-expanding role in American Hustle.

Bale couldn’t wait to immerse himself ‘in such a wonderfully, exuberant era’, he reveals, and that’s despite the questionable fashion.

‘It was like Halloween for a decade, the colours were garish,’ he says.

‘The style was just phenomenal for us to look back on, but the people themselves were no different to now.

‘Everyone’s performing in a certain way, and then at some point, it’s about stripping away that mask and seeing what’s really beneath.’

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