American Hustle (2013)

American Hustle Poster

Summary: Manhattan-based  con artists Irving Rosenfeld (Christian Bale) and Sydney Prosser (Amy Adams) are forced to work for FBI agent Richie DiMaso (Bradley Cooper) to avoid prosecution following a sting operation. Pushed into a world of New Jersey power brokers and ‘wise-guys’, Irving and Sydney find efforts to clear their names made all the more difficult thanks to DiMaso’s erratic behavior and the unpredictability of Irving’s wife Roslyn (Jennifer Lawrence). Directed by David O. Russell (Silver Lining’s Playbook, The Fighter, Three Kings) and based on an incredible true story, this 1970′s-set award-season contender defies genre, hinging on the comedy of raw emotion, and the drama of life and death stakes.

Year: 2013

Australian Cinema Release Date: 12th December, 2013

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: USA

Director: David O. Russell

Screenwriter: David O. Russell, Eric Singer

Cast: Amy Adams (Sydney Prosser), Christian Bale (Irving Rosenfeld), Martie Barylick (Helen), Charley Broderick (Rep. John O’Connell), Louis C.K. (Stoddard Thorsen), Colleen Camp (Brenda), Alura Carbrey (Elizabeth Polito), Bradley Cooper (Richie DiMaso), Danny Corbo (Danny Rosenfeld), Sonny Corbo (Danny Rosenfeld), Gary Craig (Jerry Catone), Robert De Niro (Victor Tellegio), Sal DiMino (Lou Salvano), Richard Donnelly (Rep. Sanders), Andres Faucher (Don Hirxel), Kayla Feeney (Lorna Polito), Steve Gagliastro (Agent Schmidt), Armen Garo (Dick Helsing), Robert Glenn (Jerry), Barbara Guertin (Denise), Shannon Halliday (Doreen Polito), Richard Heneks (Al Kalowski), Paul Herman (Alfonse Simone), Jack Huston (Pete Musane), Jennifer Lawrence (Rosalyn Rosenfeld), Adrian Martinez (Julius), Thomas Matthews (Francis Polito), Alessandro Nivola (Anthony Amado), Michael Pena (Paco Hernandez/Sheik Abdullah), Jeremy Renner (Mayor Carmine Polito), Elisabeth Rohm (Dolly Polito), Matthew Russell (Dominic Polito), Zachariah Supka (Young Irv), Bob Taraschi (Rep. Stelford), Chris Tarjan (Agent Stock), Volieda Webb (Melora), Josh Philip Weinstein (Peter Scott), Shea Whigham (Carl Elway), Gary Zahakos (Congressman Keshoygan), Anthony Zerbe (Senator Horton Mitchell)

Runtime: 138 mins

Classification:M

OUR AMERICAN HUSTLE REVIEWS & RATINGS

Adam Ross: Stars(4)

Please check Adam’s review of ‘American Hustle’ that is available on The Crat

Greg King: Stars(4)

Please check Greg’s review of ‘American Hustle’ that is available on www.filmreviews.net.au

David Griffiths:

At the moment director David O. Russell is Hollywood’s darling. It seems everything that he puts in his hands on becomes Oscar fodder. His movies like ‘The Fighter’ and ‘Silver Linings Playbook’ have garnished plenty of Oscar nods over recent years and actors of the calibre of Jennifer Lawrence, Christian Bale and Melissa Leo admit they owe their Oscars to him.

As a director the past has seen Russell fight with his main stars and even have people say they will never work with him again – for that reason it is surprising that he has worked with most of the cast of “American Hustle” before. That certainly being the case with Amy Adams, Christian Bale, Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper.

This time around Russell focuses on actual events… albeit with some changed names and some poetic licence. An almost unrecognisable Christian Bale, complete with gut and hard-working comb over, plays Irving Rosenfeld a conman who lives a comfortable life making money before returning home to his strange wife, Rosalyn (Jennifer Lawrence) and much loved son each night.

Rosenfeld’s career as a con artist though really takes off after he meets Sydney Prosser (Amy Adams) who becomes his lover and partner-in-crime, although their new found scam soon comes to the attention of a desperate young law enforcement officer, Richie DiMaso (Bradley Cooper). DiMaso’s eagerness soon sees Sydney and Irving wrapped up in an –in-over-their-heads undercover sting designed to bring down community minded mayor Carmine Polito (Jeremy Renner).

Russell is somewhat of a frustrating director to watch. There are times during “American Hustle” when Russell eclipses perfection. The style, feel and plot of the film mirrors what Martin Scorsese has done so well over the years but the difference between the master and Russell is that Scorsese knows when to cull. Where the frustration seeps into “American Hustle” is that Russell will deliver a scene that leaves you gasping at its cinematic brilliance and then follow it up with a scene that should have found itself on the cutting room floor.

That problem leads to bigger problems for the film. Firstly the running time of 138 minutes is way too long and then there is the problem that the audiences’ focus drifts in and out depending on the relevance of the scene. Having said that though “American Hustle” is a good film it just doesn’t ever reach the greatness that it should.

What really saves “American Hustle” are the performances that Russell gets out of his cast. These are obviously actors that completely trust their director. How else could you explain Christian Bale going from Bruce Wayne to a man whose gut hangs over his trousers or the normally modest Amy Adams deciding to play a role where her cleavage is on show more often than not? To their credit though both actors deliver. Bale is his usual smooth self while Adams brings a brand of sexiness to the film that would be beyond most other actresses.

Then there are Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper’s performances. Russell just directed them amazingly in “Silver Linings Playbook” and he manages to repeat that here. Lawrence brushes aside those who label her as ‘the hunger games girl’ with her best performance since “The Winter’s Bone” while Cooper plays the manic yet immature DiMaso so well he creates one of the most interesting characters to ever hit the screen. Cudos should also go to Jeremy Renner who is also his usual brilliant self.

Despite its flaws “American Hustle” is still a film that demands a viewing. It’s good not great but it will be the film that everybody is talking about this holiday and awards seasons.

 Stars(4)

 

Average Subculture Rating (out of 5): Stars(4)

IMDB Rating:  American Hustle (2013) on IMDb

Other Subculture Media Reviews of ‘American Hustle′: Please check our American Hustle review on The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep 62.

Trailer: