Review: American Hustle
Written By Steven Panzarella(@ProCreateSteve)
The Short Version- American Hustle is what happens when David O. Russell creates a Martin Scorsese movie, think Silver Linings Playbook meets Goodfellas. A character piece and hilarious romp that throws out five absolutely magnificent performances from some of Hollywood’s best. Along with a great script and fantastic direction American Hustle just might be the best movie of 2013.
The Long Version- We are very lucky to live in this age of film, the age with so many directors, writers, and actors reaching their prime all at once. Very few people are doing it better right now then David O. Russell (The Fighter, Silver Linings Playbook). Now the Oscar nominated helmer has taken the casts of The Fighter (Amy Adams and Christian Bale) and Silver Linings Playbook (Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, and Robert DeNiro) and put them all together for American Hustle. Hustle follows Con artists Irving (Bale) and Sydney (Adams) who get caught in a con by out of control FBI agent Richie Demaso(Cooper). Demaso forces the con artists into working for him to catch dirty politicians in New Jersey. Along with the five Oscar winners/nominees includes a supporting cast of Louis C.K, Robert DeNiro, Jack Huston, and Michael Peña.
American Hustle is a movie about con artists that is comedic in nature and dramatic in tone but mostly it’s a character piece. David O. Russell has been quoted that he cares little for plot and more about how enigmatic and excellent his characters are. That shows in American Hustle, from the outrageous comb over of Christian Bale’s Irving to the fake accent and revealing outfits worn by Amy Adams’ Sydney, there are plenty of classic film characters involved. Jennifer Lawrence delivers a showstopping performance as the stay at home wife of Irving. Lawrence is absolutely worth of another Oscar nod as she puts on one of the most memorable. The rest of this cast follows suit including Bradley Cooper as the somewhat out of his mind FBI agent and Jeremy Renner who plays the kind, and calm Mayor of Camden who is the focal point of the FBI investigation. They all bring maximum effort, and while Lawrence steals the show Bale, Adams, Cooper and Renner give some of their finest performances of their respective careers. While Amy Adams played tough well in The Fighter in American Hustle she plays a smart, sassy and sexy con artist who toys with the hearts of both Bale and Cooper’s characters. She manages to go from thick New York accent to fake British accent with little effort.
Along with the fantastic performances you have the direction and writing of David O. Russell and writer Eric Singer. The pair kept the film on track even when it looked like it would veer away from the plot at times. American Hustle is David O. Russell’s ode to the Martin Scorsese classics like Casino and Goodfellas, thanks to dramatic scenes that actually find ways to be funny and narration from the lead characters throughout the chaos of the film. Russell has created his masterpiece; it’s a little bit of everything that is the perfect mix of a seriously funny caper.
It simply is the best acted motion picture of 2013 and because of that it just may be this year’s Best Picture.