Caroline Madden, ‘Doah Staff Writer
January 15, 2014
Fresh off of last year’s hit “Silver Linings Playbook,” director and writer David O. Russell returns with the vibrant and charming “American Hustle.” As stated at the beginning of the film, “Some of this actually happened,” “American Hustle” is loosely based on the ABSCAM operation in the late 70s. Two clever and street-smart con artists are forced by an FBI agent to lead a sting operation to nab corrupt New Jersey politicians taking bribes.
The ever-changing method actor Christian Bale gained forty pounds and a hilarious comb-over to brilliantly transform into con artist Irving Rosenfeld. Christian Bale not only transforms on the outside, but also brilliantly brings out Irving’s inner conflicts. Amy Adams plays Christian Bale’s mistress and partner-in-crime Sydney Prosser. Amy Adams shines particularly in Sydney’s most vulnerable moments.
Bradley Cooper plays the fast-talking and firecracker Richie DeMaso, the FBI agent in charge of the operation. Jennifer Lawrence rounds out the main cast as Irving’s overdramatic and neurotic young wife. Jennifer Lawrence is nearly twenty years younger than the rest of the main cast, sometimes making it hard to believe that her character has both a young son and years of experience behind her. However, it is clear why she was cast. She brings her own effervescent humor and fiery personality that we know so well from her interviews.
The film begins at a slow and clunky start; it takes awhile to get to know the characters and their relationships. But once it gets going, it is a very entertaining ride. The film shows a messy tangle of relationships, each character vying for leadership in the operation.
The incredibly talented cast and their performances makes up for some of the flaws in the script. Without them, the film would not have held up very well.
“American Hustle” is an exciting film showing a story of survival and the questioning of the American dream.