American Hustle came out five years ago, directed by David O Russell, starring Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, and Jeremy Renner. The film was nominated for several Oscars. Now three of its stars are in this year’s Oscar race, two of them going up against each other. 

Let’s start with Bradley Cooper, the current frontrunner for Best Actor for his performance in A Star is Born while directing A Star is Born. Bradley skipped the Governors Awards last weekend, still no explanation why, but as Joanna noted the other day, he’s been doing his campaigning undercover, sending personalized notes to the broadcast critics and, the day after the Governors Awards, on Monday, attended a SAG screening and Q&A of the film with Lady Gaga and Sam Elliott where he revealed that he stayed in character while shooting the Grammys scene. You know the scene? Ally wins a Grammy and a shambolic Jackson f-cks it all up. Actors are starf-ckers themselves. He served that up to an audience – the Screen Actors – of people he knew would get hard over his commitment to the character. 

Most experts seem to think that Bradley’s biggest competition will come from Christian Bale’s portrayal of Dick Cheney in Vice. Vice was finally screened for press last Saturday and was warmly received. It will continue to pick up momentum as we approach the release date. Already people are saying it’ll be Christian vs Coop. And if Christian works for it, if he campaigns for it, remember, he might already have an Oscar for Supporting Actor but the bigger prize would be for a leading role – the comparison here is Cate Blanchett who first won Supporting Actress for The Aviator in 2005 and then won Best Actress for Blue Jasmine in 2014. Christian is one of those actors, like Kate, who is fangirled and fanboyed by their peers. That’s what Coop is up against. Make it a good fight.  

And then there’s Amy Adams. You want a f-cking “Due Game”? Let’s play one with Amy Adams. We should hardly have to put in the effort, because it’s so obvious. Amy Adams has been nominated a LOT. Remember before Kate Winslet won her Oscar the whole narrative was all, when will Kate win she’s dueeeeeee. Where is the same urgency/anxiety for Amy? If Amy’s nominated, I wonder if we’ll start hearing this. Here she is the other night at the Governors Awards.