American Hustle (2013)
Starring: Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Jeremy Renner, Robert De Niro, Louis C.K., Michael Pena
Directed by: David O. Russell
Tagline: Everyone hustles to survive.
Running time: 138 Minutes
Quick summary (from IMDB): A con man, Irving Rosenfeld, along with his seductive partner Sydney Prosser, is forced to work for a wild FBI agent, Richie DiMaso, who pushes them into a world of
Jersey powerbrokers and mafia.
Of the Best Picture Nominees remaining for me to watch, American Hustle was the one I wanted to see the most. I’d still eventually like to see some of the others, but American Hustle was the only one I felt I had to see. It seems like David O. Russell just pulled together pieces of the cast from his last two movies and put them together in this, and I have no problem with that. He’s got Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper and Robert De Niro from Silver Linings Playbook and Amy Adams and Christian Bale from The Fighter. It’s hard to go wrong with a cast that great.
The acting is phenomenal all around. Christian Bale was great, and his comb-over and accent are flawless. It’s amazing to me how he can disappear into a character like that and leave you completely forgetting it’s him. Bradley Cooper was equally great, and his curls were fantastic. Amy Adams seemingly refused to wear a shirt or dress without an insanely plunging neckline and she rocked two different accents quite well throughout. Jennifer Lawrence is great, as usual. Her attitude and accent were perfect. The actors who were nominated could probably win and I wouldn’t really have a problem with it. And the people I didn’t even know were in this movie are awesome. Jeremy Renner, Louis C.K., Michael Pena and Robert De Niro were all solid and pleasant surprises when they popped up, especially Louis C.K.
I thought it was good, not great, and my wife wasn’t feeling it. Part of the problem was there was A LOT of talking, and everyone had an accent and spoke kind of fast. If you weren’t paying close attention, you might miss something or not understand what is going on and then you’re behind. It’s also a little confusing when different people narrate. By my count, at least three different people narrate sections of the movie. Bale, Cooper and Adams all take turns with the voiceover for brief periods of time, but it’s not constant or consistent. They just pop up to narrate a scene or two and then it goes away. It can be distracting.
Of the David O. Russell movies that I’ve seen, I don’t think American Hustle is my favorite. It’s probably still Three Kings, with The Fighter and Silver Linings Playbook coming in ahead of American Hustle. It’s still a really good movie with a great cast at the top of their game, but it just wasn’t as great as I was hoping/expecting it to be. And it’s not as good a movie as Gravity or The Wolfof Wall Street was. I enjoyed those two movies far more than I did American Hustle and it definitely didn’t deserve to win any major Academy Awards.
3 out of 5 stars