American Hustle (2013) Movie Review

Not a whole lot about American Hustle will be seen as something done differently and creatively pushing the medium of movies as we know but damn is it entertaining. With it’s absolutely tasteful and enjoyable 1970s setting and the charming performances by the entire cast, it’s hard to not find something to like about this film. On top of that, it has wonderful camera work with some stylistic choices from David O. Russell’s previous film, Silver Linings Playbook carrying onto this one, most notably is the usage of fast paced movements of the camera either backwards or forwards that I love each and every time it is used.

The story itself tells the tale of two con people, Irving Rosenfeld (Christian Bale) and Sydney Prosser (Amy Adams). The movie opens in a very interesting way with a title card saying, “Some of this actually happened.” For one thing, it made me laugh. For another thing, it sets the tone for what is obviously a black comedy and that to me is a great way of both telling the truth (it only takes partial aspects of a real story) and getting the movie off on the right footing. The main plot of this film takes off after we establish the two main characters, most notably through Christian Bale’s narration which at times really works in a very Scorsese sense but at other times…feels a bit force. Although, some very notable pieces of dialogue come from it and probably the most thought-provoking parts of the movie…which there isn’t a whole lot of, not that every movie needs it.

After the beginning of the film, Irving and Sydney eventually get caught by Richie Di Maso (Bradley Cooper) but they can be dropped of charges if they help him catch four guys, congressmen and a politician played by Jeremy Renner. This leads to some comedic events. Some serious ones. But, overall entertaining ones. Most viewers of this movie will be able to love the 1970s atmosphere with it’s music and clothing as I did. Two other notable characters are Irving’s wife played by Jennifer Lawrence who provides some fun, comic relief at times but is still a key component of the story with Irving and Sydney carrying an affair. But, probably the true piece of comic relief and a pleasant surprise is Stoddard Thorsen played by the always wonderful Louis C.K. who needs to be in lots and lots of movies after this. He is just so damn hilarious and plays off Bradley Cooper’s character the best with a story about ice fishing that is constantly mentioned. Overall, this is a good, entertaining piece of cinema. Is it sophisticated? No, not really. To me, it is a combination of David O. Russell and Martin Scorsese and that comes off as a good thing. The cast is stellar. The comedy works. The narration sometimes works. And it’s overall, a really good time, with some occasional thought provoking aspects.

4/5 stars.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s