Movie Title: American Hustle
Date Released: December 20th, 2013
Date Seen: December 22nd, 2013
Part 1 – Spoiler Free Quickie Review
A movie about a conman, Irving Rosenfeld (Christian Bale) and his partner, Sydney Prosser (Amy Adams) who must work with the FBI to save their own asses. However, things get a little out of hand, with an agent pushing them too far – Richie DiMaso (Bradley Cooper), and Irving’s unpredictable wife, Rosalyn (Jennifer Lawrence), just being herself. What will happen as we get into the world of hustlers, FBI agents, mob bosses and congressmen? Watch it and see!
Or don’t, that’d be ok too. Honestly, I see that this was a well shot, directed, and exquisitely acted movie – however, it wasn’t my cup of tea. I was bored mostly because I just didn’t “get” it. It moved at an awkward pace for me, sometimes fast, sometimes slow, sometimes with super whispery dialogue so I missed things. I honestly had NO idea how they were actually conning people for the longest time, and once they got to the big cons – I was even more confused. Let’s be reminded that I’m not a dumb person, I’m working on my PhD, – the plot just seemed all over the place and so I kept zoning out (I guess) and thus missing important details (again, I guess). I went to the bathroom at what I thought had to be towards the end of the movie, because it seemed like I had been watching it for hours – but no, I was only an hour into it. It just dragged on and on and I didn’t really care. It just clearly wasn’t my thing.
However, I loved the filming and the acting in this movie. It was shot in a way that was reminiscent of other films and directors, with some scenes being pretty straightforwardly obvious who they were imitating (Goodfellas is a big one), but it fits in with the whole “forgery” idea in the plot. There’s a line in the trailer even, “Who is really the master? The artist or the forger?” And that’s what David O. Russell appeared to do in a few scenes. But, I didn’t have a problem with this. The movie is full of lots of golds, reds, and oranges, with lots of sparkle, making it a pretty film to look at. There’s also a lot of dance scenes or just scenes set to music that are enjoyable to watch.
The real standout of the movie though is the acting. Everyone in this movie is superb. Part of it is the character writing and part of it is the acting. I know a lot of this movie was improved by the actors, but still, some of the characters were just so great. I left the movie wishing the entire thing was actually just about Jennifer Lawrence’s character, Rosalyn, because she was just so damn interesting. She was hilarious, smart, but a bit of a train wreck. I wanted to just see what kind of shit she would have gotten into. Amy Adams was the other star. I love that the main women in this movie were both probably the smartest of them all. You do see a lot of Amy Adam’s side boob, a lot a lot a lot. Luckily, she has a very nice side boob so that’s good. We have a very unattractive Christian Bale, with his beer belly and comb-over – but it works great for the character. He does a lot of this “oh god what have I gotten my self into” semi blank stare that I wasn’t really a fan of, but otherwise great. Bradley Cooper’s character was very unlikeable but, in a good way. It worked well for the plot and I liked what Bradley Cooper added to the character in the curly hair, attention to how things look, etc. The only person I wasn’t big on was Jeremy Renner as Mayor Carmine Polito. He just seemed very idiotic to me and Jeremy Renner had the most ridiculous hair of them all. I know that’s hard to believe, but he quite possibly did.
The hairstyles really had a staring role all themselves – with Jeremy Renner’s odd Johnny Bravo – eqse hair cut, Jennifer Lawrences up-dos with a various amounts of curls hanging out, Amy Adams with nice beautiful red flowing locks, Christian Bales comb-over, and Bradley Coopers incredible perm. Yeah, they deserve an Oscar themselves.
See this if you like very talk heavy must pay attention the entire time movies, and you like the genre. I think this is a good movie – it just wasn’t my cup of tea.
Part 2 – In Depth Spoiler Ridden Review
I can’t really spoil anything since I didn’t get a lot of the movie, due to my either stupidity or zoning out. Or both, there’s a great chance that both of them happened.
The things I were really confused about was why they had to pick Jeremy Renner’s character to start the con with, because they all seemed to agree that he was a good guy, so I don’t know why you’d target him other than his connections. I guess that was it. I also was like “why are we dealing with casinos, and what do the politicians actually have to do with this?” I figured out towards the end (during the con) sort of what was going on, but by then I just didn’t care.
I did really like the FINAL con, that was nice, but I felt really bad for poor Jeremy Renner’s person, who again, just seemed like a nice guy who got caught up in a bunch of people being assholes to him – but that was kind of the point of Christian Bale’s last speech now wasn’t it? Yep.
It was a good movie, but not my thing at all, otherwise it would get higher. I can appreciate it for what it is though – a fine study in acting and directing, but the plot just wasn’t for me.