Starring: Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Jeremy Renner, Louis CK, Shea Wigham, Jack Huston, Robert De Niro
Directed by: David O. Russell
Synopsis: A conman, along with his seductive assistant, is forced to work for a wild FBI agent.
Where to begin with American Hustle? I had huge expectations for this film. The cast is amazing, the director is great, it is set in the seventies so there are crazy wigs and glamorous clothes. The story is intriguing. It basically screamed, there is a new Goodfellas or Casino or even Boogie Nights in town. I desperately wanted it to be like those films. I don’t think anyone has made a film like that for so long, and that is clearly what David O. Russell was intending with this, it just didn’t quite hit the mark unfortunately.
My rating for American Hustle fluctuated during the course of the film. I thought the first half hour or so was a bit of a mess, with so many characters and aliases and back story being thrown at me that I wasn’t sure what was going on. I was dazzled by Christian Bales wig, Bradley Coopers perm and Amy Adams very low cut dresses. But, after a while, once the film had settled into a rhythm, I started to really like it. Sure, it’s not a patch on the Scorsese films I mentioned, but heh, what is?
Despite its faults, even though the film ran over two hours I never once was looking at my watch. It was decent fun and some great performances from the whole cast, but my standout, as usual these days, was Jennifer Lawrence. She was totally unhinged, crazy and really, really funny! Unfortunately it didn’t quite last the pace and I thought the ending was quite disappointing.
Overall I would say American Hustle is a great film bookended by two slightly weaker parts, thus my score is still generous…