David O. Russell’s American Hustle (2014) Movie Review

Cast: Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper, Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, Jennifer Lawrence, Louis C K, Jack Huston, Michael Pena, Shea Whigham, Alessandro Nivola, Elisabeth Rohm, Said Taghmaoui, Thomas Matthews
Director: David O Russell

Recently American Hustle has been nominated for 10 Oscars at the Academy Awards along with Gravity.

I finally got to see American Hustle in theatres yesterday. When I initially saw the trailer, I was a bit hazy on the plot but definitely excited for the lead cast. I mean seriously to see Batman, Rocket Raccoon, Lois Lane, Hawkeye, and Mystique all in one movie. Yes, EXCITED was the word.

“The Key to People is what they believe and what they want to believe”

The plot of American Hustle surrounds the famous Abscam (Arab Scam) of the ’70s. Story of con-men lovers Irving Rosenfeld (Christian Bale) and Sydney Prosser (Amy Adams). Two brilliant con-men that gets busted by FBI agent Richie DiMaso (Bradley Cooper). DiMaso offers the couple a deal, he needs their help to make a big bust that will bump him up in his career. If they is successful he will let them walk.

“People always conning each other to get what they wanted. We even con ourselves”

The Oscar buzz must be for the performances. Amy Adams (Oscar Worthy Performance) was quite amazing in her performance in her enticing and audacious role as Sydney/Edith. The lead actors has fantastic chemistry and can bounce lines off of one another, much like Tarantino’s dialogue heavy scenes. Christian Bales does what he does best, gains a considerable amount of weight for the part. He shows why he is one of the best actors today even if he has to play a little more subtle character than Cooper. Bradley Cooper plays a very aroused, raring, on the verge of nutty character and probably the most complex character of the film, and he does it with ease. His scenes with Louie C.K. who plays his FBI boss are hilarious. Jennifer Lawrence is amazing in every single second that she inhabits the screen. The supporting cast with Jeremy Renner, Louie C.K. and Robert DeNiro does a great job in their parts.

“My fee is not Refundable, Just like my time”

American Hustle is a topsy-turvy presentation of how a conman and his assistant are arrested by the FBI and now must help them arrest some of their important associates in order for their freedom. The story progresses really well, with feeling slow at any parts.  Some of the scenes are predictable, but I couldn’t imagine them any differently than how they are. Its feels dragged as it revolves around one con player.

“To get millions we need millions”

With American Hustle David O. Russell penned a paying homage to one of his favorite film makers, including Tarantino and Scorsese. When Cooper draws a square, its blazing homage to Uma’s character in Pulp Fiction and Robert De Niro’s small and satisfying scene is homage to Goodfellas.

I really enjoyed this movie, it had moments that were quite funny, but I felt like the movie always wanted to make a more serious point that it never effectively drove home. In addition it featured some awkward scene transitions and editing that made the film tad too long. There isn’t any deep emotional connection to be had here between the movie and the viewer. It’s probably why it won’t win best picture. The movie was sexy and silky and with full of the 70s touch. It’ll easily get some of the actor and actress awards. Certainly not a clean sweep of the four, but Christian Bale and Amy Adams have solid performances through the entirety.

Survi Review: 3/5

Theatrical Trailer:

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