American Hustle

Posted in movies by - December 24, 2013
American Hustle

You can do a lot worse than imitating Martin Scorcese, you really can.

‘American Hustle’ is a surprisingly amusing and suspenseful look into ABSCAM, a scandal I remember next to nothing about. It’s also a fairly strong philosophical treatise on the dark side of constructing your society around the war of all against all. All the main characters are bound together by the obscene lengths they’ll go to get over, and not even the good guys have any moral compass to speak of.

Maybe most importantly, it’s the most profound cinematic tribute to sideboob ever devised.
The sexy grifter played by Amy Adams apparently owns no dresses with a neckline north of her navel. The budget for this movie has to have gone primarily to double-sided sticky tape. I’m not saying this as a complaint, mind you. It’s not unpleasant, just surprising, and kind of relentless.

The basic story is that Christian Bale is a scruffy businessman/bounder in late 70s NYC. At a pretty gross Long Island pool party, he meets his dreamgirl, played by Amy Adams. She’s beautiful, lost and more than game to hitch her wagon to his various scams – fraudulent art dealings, truly dark-hearted loan sharking and the like. They become sort of successful, but end up on the wrong side of an ambitious FBI agent, who forces them to entrap a nearly endless string of politicians and operators in exchange for their freedom.

To say more might detract from the roller coaster ride that follows. ‘American Hustle’ is tense, funny and loaded with Oscarbait performances. Jennifer Lawrence plays Christian Bale’s semi-abandoned wife with such a potent combination of artlessness and bile that I can’t see her not getting nominated for Best Supporting Actress. She is a lovable tornado, all eyelashes and knuckles.

Christian Bale is in a couple of prestige December films this year, and this is probably the one that will get the most attention. He’s added some upholstery to the midsection and a Trump-esque combover, and everyone knows what suckers the Academy voters are for pretty people getting strategically semi-ugly. I could have done with a little less Pacino in the accent, but he does a good job of humanizing a character with very little in the way of redeeming qualities, and he is the reason you feel so desperate for things to turn around.

‘American Hustle’ is a solid entry in the David O. Russell canon and well worth your movie dollars.

This post was written by MisterDee

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