Friday, December 27, 2013

Movie Review: American Hustle

David O. Russell, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways...The Fighter, Silver Linings Playbook and now, American Hustle. This cinematic hat-trick of his is mind boggling. How this man keeps cranking these amazing films out in such rapid succession is awe inspiring. American Hustle continues Russell's awesome streak and reunites the casts from his last two films, throws Jeremy Renner and a wicked pompadour into the mix and lets the kinetic sparks fly.

While watching American Hustle, I couldn't help but compare it to another madcap shiester film set in the 1970's, Martin Scorsese's 1990 masterpiece, Goodfellas. Normally, comparing another film to Goodfellas would be a death sentence, but American Hustle is so dazzling, it often feels like a kindred spirit to Scorsese's mobster classic.

Christian Bale plays Irving Rosenfield, a soft spoken con-artist who, along with his gorgeously manipulative partner in crime Sydney (Amy Adams), gleefully dupes people out of their money during the grimey landscape that was the post-Vietnam/Watergate America of the late 1970's. They run afoul of a zealous FBI agent (Bradley Cooper) who plans to use the smooth talking duo to entrap politicians and other high profile figures to further his own career. That's the film in a nutshell. The con-men get conned by the feds, who force them to con other scam artists in a massive corruption ring, but they have to outwit the FBI in order to stay alive or the people who they are trying to con will...exhausted yet? This film's plot is like a carousel on ecstasy. The story is constantly spinning, with gorgeous lights, or in this case, amazing performances and Russell's brilliant direction, blinding you at every turn.

There's also some biting social commentary going on in American Hustle, highlighting the corruption within our nation's political and financial institutions and how the perversion of the American dream has created a perplexing role reversal between traditional heroes and villains. The message is there, blanketed by Bale's amazingly tactful performance, Adam's uber seductive screen presence, and the most glorious soundtrack of the year. David O. Russell strikes again, what else is there to say?

2 comments:

  1. I hope the movie does well, I'm excited to see it. Couldn't ask for a better cast

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