Genre: Crime, Drama
Director: David O. Russell
Writers: Eric Singer, David O. Russell
Starring: Bradley Cooper, Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Jennifer Lawrence
American Hustle has made a huge impact on the film world and community earning itself respectful plaudits and nominations by the dozen. It certainly has one of the best and most-talented acting ensembles in which each give a refreshing and different performance. The story however is where I struggled mostly, but since reflecting the words brave and seemingly clever seem most fitting. American Hustle is enjoyable but nowhere near having special and faultless-like qualities as speculated and first hoped.
The film establishes itself in a world of con artists and corrupt business men following one in particular, the brilliant Irving Rosenfeld (Christian Bale) who lives scamming the equally greedy, selling fake art along with owning a string of businesses he survives. Rosenfeld meets Sydney Prosser (Amy Adams) a sly and lonely British woman who seduces her way into Irving’s world of cons and scandals. Later down the line they cross paths with a FBI agent, Richie DiMaso (Bradley Cooper) wild and deranged he leads them into danger and a world plagued with powerbrokers and mobsters as they attempt to pull off a big-time con.
Irving Rosenfeld’s struggling relationships with fling Sydney and scatty wife Rosalyn (Jennifer Lawrence) starts to cause problems with the con and things get far too dangerous than ever imagined. Political operator Carmine Polito then enters the frame and finds himself in-between the two corrupt worlds of cons and cops. As things develop in everyone’s lives the con looks to be exposed with its success lying in the shaky hands of Irving’s unstable Rosalyn.
American Hustle has a great introduction, but only for those that were hooked and intrigued by the concepts and world laid out in front of them. A great in-depth opening act really lets us know the characters, the plot and the plan but it doesn’t grab you as much as it should and could. You find yourself slightly bored awaiting action and consequently for some, you don’t take in the information and this is dangerous as American Hustle adopts a very interlinking plotline that you can easily lose yourself in. Once developed it gets much better, the action is brought forward and it sets up some tense scenes as the con leads our ensemble to mobsters and criminals. As I said the story didn’t grab me, not at the beginning and not enough during the middle, however it was the ending that shines. The con comes together appearing much clearer, a big plot twist is introduced and everything is wrapped up nicely making lots of sense and giving great closure. It is then when you appreciate the story, the con and the writing from duo Eric Singer and David O. Russell.
Where most praise however has been and should be directed at, is the casting ensemble that makes up American Hustle. Christian Bale shows once again how versatile and amazing he is, whilst the duo that made up award winning Silver Linings Playbook, Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence display yet another award winning performance. Amy Adams also makes a great statement for her talent and future career. I can easily see one of these brilliantly captured performances being rewarded and marked with an Oscar nomination or even the win come February’s ceremony.
David O. Russell should also be given credit for producing such a fine display and quality picture whilst plaudits should be directed in the pathway of the music department for the score too. However an obvious and much talked about success is those of the make-up department which transform the group completely surely leading them to Oscar and award glory.
I’ve seen a lot of five stars and special labels surrounding American Hustle but for me it doesn’t pitch that high. It tries to be too “sexy” and “clever” at times and this plays against my liking whilst it lacks a little action too. Nevertheless I believe it was entertaining and rather enjoyable, with great scenes and some funny scripted moments. American Hustle was boosted and saved by its all-star cast so credit to David O. Russell for picking some familiar faces as it paid off once again. Easily watchable, clever and funny American Hustle should be seen, especially to witness a great acting display.