Monday, January 13, 2014

American Hustle - Review


Walking in to this movie, I had no real idea of what it was about.  From the trailer, I got that it was set in the 70's, had lots of star power, and plenty of side boob.  But what was the plot?  Luckily the all-star cast, and good word-of-mouth, convinced me to give it a shot.  And boy, am I glad I did.

This alluring crime drama follows brilliant con man, Irving Rosenfeld, and his equally cunning and seductive partner, Sydney, as they get forced into the world of double-crosses, lies, New Jersey politicians, and the mob, all because of a wild and eager FBI agent looking to make a name for himself.  Throughout all of this, Irving must deal with his overbearing and unpredictable wife, who's poised to ruin everything, and the guilt of betraying a friend who gets caught between them and the Feds.


In the director's chair for this film is David O. Russell.  He is known for using the same actors in many of his films, a big one being Mark Wahlberg, who has been in 3 of the 6 other feature films he's directed.  American Hustle stars five big name actors who Russell has worked with before.  Christian Bale and Amy Adams worked with him on The Fighter, while Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, and Robert De Niro helped him bring Silver Linings Playbook to the big screen.

 Christian Bale took on the role of the clever con man, Irving Rosenfeld, and what a role it was.  Seeing him go from super muscular in The Dark Knight Rises, to still in shape, yet not as muscular in Out of the Furnace, to overweight and out of shape in this, is extremely impressive.  Anyone willing to put their body through that for a role shows true dedication.  And if you want to see a great example of what Bale is willing to do, check out the 2004 thriller, The Machinist.


Bradley Cooper played FBI agent Richie DiMaso.  This was a great role for him.  I love him as an actor and was excited when I saw he was in this film.  We also see Jeremy Renner as Mayor Carmine Polito.  I've really liked where his career has been headed.  I can still remember the first film I saw him in over a decade ago -- S.W.A.T. -- and I thought he was great in that and knew he'd be one to watch out for.

But we don't want to forget about the ladies of this film.  Amy Adams plays Irving's sexy partner, Sydney Prosser, while Jennifer Lawrence gave a great performance as Irving's wife, Rosalyn.  These two ladies are two of the most talented, beautiful actresses working in Hollywood today.  I would be very surprised if neither of them get nominated for an Academy Award this year.


The film has a couple of dry spots but they are few and far between.  Overall, I really enjoyed this film.  It took me by surprise, especially since I wasn't sure what to expect.  I hope it gets nominated for best picture because it deserves it.  This is a film that, if you haven't taken the time to see, you must do so as soon as possible.

Josh's Rating:  8/10

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