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The 5 Best & Most Ridiculous Photos From The Set Of David O. Russell's ABSCAM FBI...Comedy?

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by Edward Davis
April 12, 2013 11:54 AM
14 Comments
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"They're all going to do things we haven't seen them do in this movie, it's going to be very exciting. Jeremy Renner's going to be like you've never seen him. Bradley Cooper’s going to be like you never seen him. Christian Bale's going to be like you've never seen him before,” David O. Russell told us late last year when we spoke to him during “Silver Linings Playbook” press rounds about his currently-filming, still-untitled, based-on-a-true-story FBI ABSCAM drama/dramedy (or maybe full-on comedy?) Russell added, “they're all playing real-life characters from the ‘70s and they're very intense in an insane drama."

However, the ABSCAM sting used a fake Arab sheik and a host of other cunning tricks to bring down corrupt public officials and members of Congress in 1970s New York, and like all his films, Russell said it would blend drama and humor. "In real life, these things are stranger than fiction so there has to be a lot of comedy in them,” he said. “Some of my favorite films by the Coen Brothers or by Scorsese or Tarantino, those pictures are both really emotional, intense, and they're also funny and from a place of realness.”

He wasn’t kidding. Set photos from the film have been appearing online on a daily basis and they point at some rather hilarious-looking antics. The cast -- Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper, Jeremy Renner, Amy Adams, Louis C.K. and Jennifer Lawrence, Alessandro Nivola, Robert De Niro, Michael Pena Elisabeth Röhm, and “Boardwalk Empire” star Jack Huston -- is outrageously good. But you can’t look at these photos and possibly think Oscar-winning drama, right? The first comedy to win Best Picture since “Annie Hall”? Discuss.

Christian Bale
Batman plays Melvin Weinberg, cocky financial con artist, hired by the FBI to help plan and conduct the ABSCAM sting operation (it's a contraction of "Abdul scam,” named after its fictitious front company). That’s a righteous comb-over. Is Bale pulling a “Carlito’s WaySean Penn?

Jennifer Lawrence
The “Hunger Games” actress plays Bale’s wife, complete with a neckbrace and Dinah Shore sunglasses.

Jeremy Renner
Check out that Liberace bouffant! Renner plays the keepin’-it-classy New Jersey State Senator Angelo Errichetti and... we won’t give away too much else on his character.

Bradley Cooper aka Disco Stu
Cooper plays the determined, but less-than-competent Jimmy Boyle (who seems to be more of a composite character than one based in real life) the FBI mastermind agent who busts Weinberg (Bale) and then enlists him to turn informant in his sting operation. That’s a tasty perm Cooper’s got going there.

Amy Adams
While Adams, who plays Bale’s mistress/partner in crime Max Gardner looks fairly normal (what we can see of her under that mop) in some set photos, it appears she’ll be putting on some of her own wacky disguises in the film as well.

Most anticipated 2013 just got a little bit more anticipated-y. David O. Russell's movie opens in limited release on December 13th, and wide on Christmas Day. [Vulture/NYDailyNews/Collider/Zimbio]

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14 Comments

  • Alan B | April 13, 2013 2:43 AMReply

    It's a comedy in the same way 'Argo' was a comedy: guys goshing around until shit gets real later in the film. It's OK to have more than one tone in a film, you know.

  • Ha ha | April 14, 2013 1:13 PM

    "hurt feelings."

  • Alan B | April 14, 2013 4:44 AM

    If it's meant to be funny, then you should added jokes or something. Being kinda quirky and eccentric ain't the same thing as being funny. If being "totally humorless" means not finding you funny, then I guess most people are "totally humorless", then.

  • Edward | April 13, 2013 9:54 AM

    Alan, the post was obviously meant in a lighthearted way. We fully realize you're totally humorless and all, but lighten up.

  • Pembre | April 12, 2013 6:29 PMReply

    Comedy? Are you daft?

  • kris | April 12, 2013 2:57 PMReply

    david o. russell's burn after reading.

  • oogle monster | April 12, 2013 2:52 PMReply

    Adams will finally win her Oscar!

  • weetiger3 | April 12, 2013 2:39 PMReply

    And all of this wackiness is happening as we speak in Boston and I've yet to catch even a glimpse! *shakes fist*

  • droop | April 12, 2013 2:35 PMReply

    cooper's going for the todd philips look

  • Dina | April 12, 2013 2:06 PMReply

    Shit. This movie is going to be good.

    Bradley Cooper does look exactly like Disco Stu.

  • Mass | April 12, 2013 12:39 PMReply

    This film will win Best Picture, calling it now.

  • Mass | April 12, 2013 12:38 PMReply

    This film will win Best Picture, calling it now.

  • Adam Scott Thompson | April 12, 2013 12:22 PMReply

    HAAAAAAAAAAIIIIIIIIIIR!!!!

  • Jonny | April 12, 2013 12:30 PM

    I think that's what their going to name this film.

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