American Hustle – 138 min, Rated R for pervasive language, some sexual content and brief violence
A low level con-man, Irving Rosenfeld and his assistance Sydney Prosser are forced into working with the FBI to uncover fraudulent New Jersey Powerbrokers and to enter into the world of the mafia.
American Hustle reunites director, David O. Russell with Christian Bale as Irving, Amy Adams as Sydney, Bradley Cooper as FBI Agent Dimaso, Jennifer Lawrence as Irving’s wife Rosalyn and Jeremy Renner as Mayor Carmine Polito. This is Russell’s third hit film in the past few years including The Fighter (2010) and The Silver Lining’s Playbook (2012). He once again is gaining Oscar attention with American Hustle. As much as I loved the acting, I thought the story was boring and mundane.
The story felt a little too confusing at times and couldn’t keep my interest. It may have been my expectations that got the best of me because I loved his previous films. I found the first act of the film to be highly entertaining but it fell apart in the next two acts. It has one of the best opening sequences from a film in 2013. I wish the rest of the film was up to par. The film became somewhat predictable and ended on a lackluster fashion. It had plenty of laughs and drama but it wasn’t enough to top Russell’s previous films.
American Hustle had an all star cast with a few cameos. Christian Bale transformed his body by gaining a lot of weight for his role as Irving. Bale gave a great performance but it’s not his best. Amy Adams was magnificent in her role as Sydney, Irving’s assistance and mistress. Her character was charismatic, sexy and money hungry. Jennifer Lawrence has a minor role and was not important to the plot. Her performance was great but not as memorable as her others. Bradley Cooper played a fairly psychotic FBI agent that was trying to make his mark in the bureau. My favorite part of the film was his relationship with his boss played by Louis CK. Every scene where they interacted was pure gold.
David O. Russell has a keen eye for filmmaking and is currently amongst the greatest at this time. American Hustle may have had wonderful acting performances but the story wasn’t as good as it could have been. This movie is among many others top films of the year but it certainly won’t be on mine.