Direcor - David O'Russell
Rating - ****
Release Date - January 17
David O'Russell has a knack for making movies that you just know will garner acclaim from the audience and receive much love come award season. American Hustle with its subtle 'Scorsese' undertone, is another win for the Oscar nominated director. The movie hits all the right notes in terms of plot, casting, enough amount of comedy and drama and most importantly engaging the audience. The four lead characters all having worked with O'Russel before (Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence in Silver Linings Playbook, and Christian Bale and Amy Adams in The Fighter) deliver incredible performances and personify the term 'stellar cast'.
Christian Bale leads the impressive cast as a master con-man who through his elaborate set-up, steals from men desperate enough to think they'll earn big from smaller investments. Along the way he meets and partners with (romantically and otherwise) an equally cunning and seductive British partner Sydney Prosser (Amy Adams). Things go bad when they attempt to con the wrong man and are forced to work for a wildcard FBI agent Richie DiMaso (Bradley Cooper). DiMaso pushes them into the dangerous yet enchanting world of Jersey power brokers and Mafia.
The events in the film are loosely based on the ABSCAM, which was a Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) sting operation in the late 1970s and early 1980s. However much the movie strays from the actual story, they do keep in mind the major events. American Hustle for the most part has a brilliant script and of course a top notch cast, but lots of movies have this combination. The real reason the movie shines brighter than the rest is the details and the other factors that enhance the movie as a whole.
The strong dialogue, cinematography and direction resonate throughout the entire film, while the attention to detail when it comes to the outfits, the hair styles, the architecture and the phrases used is near perfection. The score and the music played in the film are fantastic, effectively creating an all round entertaining experience.
The performances from the lead cast really deserve a special mention particularly those of Jennifer Lawrence and Amy Adams. Christian Bale provides a strong and conflicted performance as the lead character while Amy Adams almost steals the show as his partner in crime. Bradley Cooper coming into his own as an actor really does a great job as he plays the naive at times FBI agent.
Jennifer Lawrence gets the least screen time but manages to make the biggest impact. Most of the funny moments as well as one or two dramatic ones occur during Lawrence's portrayal of Bale's onscreen manic-depressive alcoholic wife. Jeremy Renner and comedian Louis CK provide great support to the main characters. And a surprise cameo by one of Hollywood's best actors adds icing on the cake.
All in all, the film already dominating the award shows and getting rave reviews from festivals is a must-watch towering above an already existing pool of must watch movies.