Sunday, December 22, 2013

American Hustle

Movie Name: American Hustle
Year of Release: 2013
Director: David O. Russell
Stars: Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper, Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, Jennifer Lawrence, Louis C.K., Jack Huston, Michael Pena, Shea Whigham, Alessandro Nivola, Elisabeth Rohm, Paul Herman, Robert De Niro, Colleen Camp, Anthony Zerbe
Genre: Drama, Crime
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 7

David O. Russell continues his recent prolific output, with another interesting film, featuring a fantastic cast from his previous features. "American Hustle" follows the story of Irving Rosenfeld and his beautiful associate Sydney Prosser, both con artists, who are finally caught by an ambitious FBI agent by the name of Richie DiMaso. In exchange for not going to jail, this team of con artists is tasked with bringing in 4 major arrests, the first one of which involves a series of politicians and connections to the mafia. This plan that is deployed, is somehow jeopardized when Irving's wife comes into play with her unusual and explosive behavior.
Most of David O. Russell films have thus far always ventured into offbeat heroes, or people who are placed in extreme situations and yet somehow find their own sense of humanity (always punctuated with a dark sense of humor). That was the case with "Three Kings", "Flirting with Disaster" and the more recents "The Fighter" and "Silver Linings Playbook". "American Hustle" is deeply rooted in the 70s, with the sense of decor and the production design almost swallowing the entire film itself, but yet, the performers and the sense of an experienced film-maker is present, which makes the feature flow to an expected grand finale. Though not as finely tuned as "Silver Linings Playbook", since "American Hustle" has a sense of rhythm that falters midway through the film, this is nonetheless an engaging feature that allows Christian Bale, Amy Adams and Jennifer Lawrence to create interesting characters. The cinematography from Linus Sandgren is beautiful as is the soundtrack from Danny Elfman. A good film worth watching.