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Monday, December 30, 2013

American Hustle - Review

After a scheme gone wrong, top con-artist Irving Rosenfeld and his British partner are recruited and forced to work for the FBI under the direction of Richie DiMaso, an over-ambitious FBI agent. Little do they know DiMaso has his sights set on intentionally bribing and busting East Coast power brokers, politicians, and mobsters in American Hustle.

I probably found this movie a lot funnier than it was supposed to be perceived, but I did really enjoy American Hustle. I admit I went into it a bit uninformed and unprepared because I honestly didn't know what the movie was actually about. I got the basics of the FBI using con-artists for their operations but I didn't really know anything else. I think it's best that I went in that way because the movie was surprising, interesting, and hilarious. I feel like if I would have known more that the enjoyment would have been a little downplayed.
As far as acting goes, the entire cast was on point. There wasn't a single actor I didn't like, even Jeremy Renner, and they all played their roles great. Out of the choices I would say my favorite was Christian Bale as Irving Rosenfeld. The overall appearance alone just steals the show. Bradley Cooper and Amy Adams both played somewhat damaged characters but they still managed to get you to like them. Even though Cooper's character, Richie DiMaso, turns out to be a complete dumbass you do appreciate him in the end. One person I do wish would have been in the movie a bit more is definitely Jennifer Lawrence. I thought her character was hilarious and it's a shame that she was only a supporting role.
Direction and style were both well done, too. I liked what David O. Russell brought to the table with this one and he nailed the 70's style. There were some moments where I felt like I was watching a movie made in that timeframe and not in present day. The actors all had the look, the environments were all retro, and the dialogue was similar.

My only real complaints are small. I am not an advocate for long movies in any way, but I think this one should have been a bit longer. It seemed like they used the interchanging narratives to sum up what could have been shown and I thought that took away from the movie in a small way. The beginning moved a bit fast and a lot of the FBI operations did, too. They also didn't really explore exactly where Richie DiMaso came from. He just appears and all of a sudden gets to put together this massive fraud operation using two con-artists to try and bust the mayor of New Jersey. He set his sights too high and you don't really understand why he did it.

Overall I did enjoy this movie a lot. I think the humor came from the subtle things, like the character's style and dialogue. I found Jennifer Lawrence very entertaining as well as Christian Bale and Bradley Cooper. I understand the award frenzy over this movie and I must say after seeing it that I think it's well deserved. We will see how this pans out when the Oscar nominations are announced.

Thumbs up!

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