Movie Review: American Hustle

American Hustle teaser posterIrving Rosenfeld (Christian Bale) is an overweight, balding con-man who thinks he’s got the best possible scheme going. In American Hustle he takes “investments” in hopes of false returns. With his partner/mistress Sydney (Amy Adams) they manage to have a much larger business as she poses with her British accent and London banking connections, everything is all well and good until the Feds get wind of him.

American Hustle - Christian Bale and Amy Adams

Columbia Pictures

Enter Bradley Cooper as FBI agent Richie DiMaso, he sees this as his ticket to the top after trapping Sydney and leaving her in prison to get Irving to cooperate on his much larger plans. Irving is not stupid although he makes questionable judgment calls, mostly that comb-over and his marriage to Rosalyn (Jennifer Lawrence) but he feels he has to do this to for Sydney because he truly loves her. American Hustle becomes a large elaborate game in which Richie continues to spiral out of control in his quest for the top, Sydney and Irving’s relationship gets messy as Richie gets in the middle and its all leading to bigger fish. Irving reluctantly ends up bringing in local politicians and that’s how Mayor Carmine Polito (Jeremy Renner) comes in and Irving proves he’s just too good of a guy for all this con-man stuff.

American Hustle- Richie and Irving

Columbia Pictures

American Hustle takes place for a few years it seems so while you may think its rushed in spots it really works. The costumes are great, Christian Bale is spectacular as Irving and Bradley Cooper is hilarious as Richie. There’s even an uncredited appearance by Robert De Niro because as corruption goes up the chain the mob has to be involved. I loved so much about this film and it never failed to keep me entertained. As the cons got larger and the players grew you keep waiting for the other shoe to drop. All the actors are earning their paychecks here selling every moment. Louis C.K plays Richie’s often abused boss Thorsen, I still really want to know how his ice fishing story ended.

American Hustle group photo

Columbia Pictures

Almost everything in this film worked for me even the length except for one glaring issue. Jennifer Lawrence. She plays Irving’s wife who he apparently married and adopted her son because she was a single mother and it was the right thing to do. Rosalyn is unstable, nose, she causes lots of issues for Irving but I could not get into her because Jennifer Lawrence is too young for this part. No matter what you try to do especially when The Rosenfelds start spending time with the Politos, you glaringly feel like she shouldn’t be at the table. The Politos have children as old as her and it feels very off. Rosalyn has a son who’s roughly 6, she and Irving have been married several years, yet Irving leaves his wife for an older mistress? She tries tow work with what she’s given in American hustle but that doesn’t change that her casting is wrong from the start.

Outside of what I feel is a glaring annoyance American Hustle is still a great film with some juicy roles and fully entertaining. Its got a black comedy feel to it and a definite must see.
My Rating: Full Price
Director: David O. Russell
Studio: Annapurna / Columbia Pictures
Release Date: December 20, 2013
Run time: 2 hours 9 minutes
MPAA Rating: R

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