American Hustle: Worth The Hype?

Life//Film / TV


With an incredible cast, humorous, powerful script, a killer soundtrack and amazing wardrobe you would think American Hustle (2013) has all the makings to be a major hit and you would be right. David O Russell’s black comedy set in 1970’s America follows Irving Rosenfield, (Christian Bale) an inconceivably charming con-man and his equally seductively scheming partner in crime Sydney Prosser (Amy Adams). Richie DiMaso, (Bradley Cooper) a wild and slightly outrageous FBI agent, forces the two into working for him undercover to try and bring down local politicians and the mafia from the inside. From there we meet Carmine Polito (Jeremy Renner) a family orientated New Jersey political operator who gets entangled and entrapped within the con-artists and the Feds. Jennifer Lawrence plays Irving’s impulsive and volatile wife, Rosalyn, whose addiction to her husband and the lifestyle she craves collides and jeopardises the hustle and her husband’s life within this dangerous yet exciting world.

The Cast…what can be said that hasn’t already been written about the remarkable talent and extraordinary emotion that these actors portray within this and other films they have starred in. Lawrence, also in Silver Linings of a Playbook, showcased why she is one of the most talked about actresses in Hollywood as her pouty portrayal of the sometimes psychotic yet loving wife revealed raw emotion that has audiences connecting with her on many levels throughout the plot. Yet, for me, she was not the star femme fatale of the film, Amy Adams’ role as Sydney was evocative and engaging. Her faux-British accent wasn’t overdone and her ease in the multi-layered role as the scorned yet devoted lover, cunning con-lady and deceptive seductress was evocative, honest and revealing… I’m not just talking about the indecently low cut outfits the wardrobe team assigned her. Adams worked effortlessly alongside Bale’s Irving Rosenfield and the two were electric on screen, creating passion and a heat that had audience’s truly believing in their everlasting love. Bale’s hilarious comb over and paunch, his devotion to a son that was not his and his love and jealousy for Sydney, created a vulnerability to the character that added such dimension that allowed the audience to empathise with the unpredicted hero of the story. His total immersion in a character has many actors envious of his commitment and his ability to enigmatically create a flawless portrayal of any persona. Bale shows real humility and hilarity within this film, cleverly intertwining his love for conning and his love for women as well as a real genuine concern for his budding friendship with Polita. Cooper, also in Silver Linings of a Play Book alongside Lawrence, became the bad-ass FBI agent whose aggression and violent streak contrasts hilariously with his tightly permed hair and almost flamboyant 70’s wardrobe.

The script was mostly written for the actors and actresses in mind and a lot of the witty, intelligent dialogue was improvised showing the amount of pure talent squashed into this film. This film was impeccably cast and directed creating for an instant hit that is reflected in the reviews it has received. Although over 2 hours, the entertainment factor was there throughout with the multi-dimensional characters, Reviews for this intelligent, exciting and extraordinary film have been nothing but gold with a resounding 93% from Rotten Tomatos, 90% on Metacritic, 4 stars from the Guardian and the Telegraph and scoring high on IMDb. You almost can’t argue with these fantastic reviews as this film is one of the greats within modern Hollywood, one that I am sure will make history.

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