Finally! It took me damn near a month and several times I had to push this review back, but after weeks and weeks I finally saw one of the movies I have been looking forward to all year, American Hustle. After last year and seeing what is quickly becoming one of my favorite movies of all time Silver Lining’s Playbook; I have been waiting with baited breath hoping that David O. Russell and his cast could bring the cinematic gold that its predecessor brought… I was not at all disappointed. American Hustle is one of those classic movies that will stick in my mind for years to come. It has solidified David O. Russell as a favorite director of mine and Bradley Cooper, Amy Adams, and Jennifer Lawrence as some of my favorite actors.
American Hustle is a story of political intrigue and corruption. Richie DiMaso (Bradley Cooper) is a FBI Agent who is attempting to weed out political corruption through various scams and is being assisted by his (partially extorted) partners Irving Rosenfeld (Christian Bale) and Sydney Prosser (Amy Adams). After catching the two in a recent loan scam, Richie recruits Irving and Sydney to assist him in the attempt to bribe New Jersey politician Carmine Polito (Jeremy Renner).
While working with one another a blossoming love triangle between the three characters as Sydney and Irving have fallen in love. however they are kept apart by Irving’s wife Rosalyn (Jennifer Lawrence) who refuses to divorce him and Richie attempts to seduce Sydney. In an attempt to bring down Polito, they attempt a scam involving several bribes and business dealings with a rich Sheikh.
The Acting is Phenomenal from the Entire Cast
Just like his previous films, the cast that is provided does a magnificent job across the board. Bradley Cooper is masterful in his role as the antagonist of the story and the chemistry between Christian Bale and Amy Adams is electrifying. Jennifer Lawrence of course puts forth a phenomenal performance in her supporting role. Plus we cannot forget the spectacular performances of both Louis CK and Jeremy Renner.
I cannot say that this is career making performances from the cast seeing as how all of them are pretty much A Listers at this point. But from what I have seen on the screen, this film can only boost their star power for the hard work that they put into this movie.
David O. Russell Hits a Second One Out of the Park
In the earlier stages of his career, I was not a big fan of David O. Russell. I was always ambivalent to Three Kings and I personally detest I Heart Huckabees. (I have not seen The Fighter so I cannot comment). But this man won me over the past two years with some phenomenal story telling and direction, both with Silver Lining’s Playbook and American Hustle. It feels very much like he is channeling early years of Martin Scorsese (Ironically seeing as how he will probably be competing for him when it comes to the Oscars with Wolf of Wall Street) with just a touch of Francis Ford Coppola in this film.
The political intrigue, sleeze, and excellent well crafted directing style that Russell provides in both the direction and the writing along with Eric Warren Singer is astonishing. If he continues on the path he is going, David O. Russell may become the Scorsese, Coppola, or Kubrik of this generation.
My favorite part about this movie is the fact that the lines of good and bad are extremely blurred. Political Corruption is a blight on our society and typically one that is pretty unforgivable in the eyes of the public. I found it a fascinating watch to see those concepts of justice put to the test in this film. It is obvious that Richie DiMaso, the FBI Agent attempting to arrest these corrupt politicians is the antagonist of the film and people like Carmine Polito are merely trying to do the best for the people of New Jersey, even if that means performing underhanded and unethical political dealings.
It shows the moral gray area in a place where people typically see it as cut and dry. Not all forms of political corruption are for a persons personal gain. Sometimes politicians do have to delve into some dirty dealings to do what is best for the people they govern.
This is the best movie that I have seen this year. David O. Russell and his cast of amazing actors has one over my heart again. The directing style is phenomenal and shows an eye for detail that is on par or even better than the greats, The cast is wonderful, not a single ‘mediocre’ performance in the movie, and just an overall excellent movie experience.
I cannot wait to see this movie rack of Academy Awards this year.
Final Score: 5/5
Thank you for reading and thank you for sticking by me for the year of 2013. Tuesday will close it all out with the best movies of 2013 and then I will return with another episode of the Nerdiest Talk Show on Earth. If you enjoyed this review than please like and subscribe for more.