(I wrote this review at the start of 2014 when American Hustle came out but was posted on my old blog- Re posting here.)
(“Why am I not Jennifer Lawrence or Amy Adams?!” I cry.)
American Hustle, directed by David O Russell, the same guy who directed Silver Linings Playbook (also my kinda film), stars a fabulous array of actors such as Amy Adams, Bradley Cooper, Christian Bale and Jennifer Lawrence…(there was also a sneak appearance from a certain Mr DeNiro…am I allowed to mention that?)
Overall the film was just what I was expecting, bold, funny, and oozing that 70’s style. What I wasn’t expecting was how clever the film turned out to be, where it turns out the con men characters actually end up conning not just the characters in the film, but the audience as well.
So what happens?
Set in the 70’s, and ‘sort of’ based on a true story (“some of this really happened,”) Christian Bale plays a character called Irving Rosenfeld, a balding and slightly overweight con man who despite appearances, still has that certain ‘Je ne sais quoi’ about him. Told in flashbacks, he meets a very glamorous Sydney Prosser (Amy Adams) and they fall in love (despite him being married, tut tut) and together, with Amy posing as a British Aristocrat, they begin a loan scam. Soon however, they are caught by FBI agent Riche DiMaso (Bradley Cooper, complete with perm) and are forced to work with him and avoid jail if they promise to assist with four additional arrests.
They soon seem to be ‘in too deep’ when they become involved with the mafia and other underworld associates along with the Mayor of Camden New Jersey, Carmine Polito, (Jeremy Renner.) ‘Irv’ also has to deal with a failing marriage and an increasingly jealous Sydney. Whilst she flirts and seduces Riche, Irv is trapped in his marriage with Rosalyn Rosenfield (Jennifer Lawrence) as she does not believe in divorce and he does not want to lose his adopted son. So yeah, a lot of drama.
The film manages to be sleek and glamorous, despite the fact it’s characters are a complete contrast. Erratic, manic and slightly chaotic, the lives and personalities of the characters in the film draw you in and submerge you into the fast paced lifestyle of the con men. Russells directing also adds to this appeal. The smooth zoom-in’s to the characters faces at crucial moments add to the drama of the film, whilst keeping that overall glamorous aura. There is a certain fluidity created by his directing and the choice of camera shots, with Russell himself saying that he strives for his directing to “flow so people almost forget that they’re acting” and perhaps even for the audience to forget that they are watching, and rather living and experiencing what is happening with the characters.
What stood out most to me was how the film actually looked on screen. Yes it was glamorous, but in a way I rarely see in films. It was smooth and attractive to look at, even from the films advertising, the colour scheme did not feel forced or manufactured, instead it was as if I was looking at it through Irv’s gold tinted 70’s sunglasses. The colours were warm and opulent, and this really increased my love and attraction for American Hustle. (Plus did I mention how fabulous I thought the outfits were?!)
Overall, along with a killer soundtrack, the actors (who happen to be some of my favorites) worked seamlessly together, the brilliant New York accents and the individual character quirks, especially Jennifer Lawrence’s portrayal of a neurotic (but fantastic) alcoholic who manages to start two fires throughout the duration of the film, made this film excellent, high quality and truly a great film to add to my collection.
Bravo! Now I’m off to paint my nails…
PSYCHO CINDERELLA’S SCORE- 10/10
You can buy the fabulous American Hustle DVD here!