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Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Sean Kelly

My Thoughts on American Hustle

AmericanHustleFrom director David O. Russell (The Silver Linings Playbook) come this 1970s-set crime comedy, which is the fresh winner of three Golden Globes, including Best Picture Comedy/Musical.  Irving Rosenfeld (Christian Bale) is a New York-based conman, who successfully operates a loan scam operation with his mistress Sydney Prosser (Amy Adams).  When the two of them get caught red handed by FBI agent Richie DiMaso (Bradley Cooper), Irving and Sydney are forced to help DiMaso catch Carmine Polito (Jeremy Renner), the mayor of Camden, New Jersey, performing shady business dealings, as part of his efforts to revitalize gambling in Atlantic City.  All goes according to plan, until Irving’s spurned wife Rosalyn (Jennifer Lawrence) gets involved.

The tone for American Hustle is set in the very first scene, in which Irving Rosenfeld is looking in a mirror and carefully combing over his balding head.  The scene is quite funny to watch, even though its being portrayed as straight as possible on screen.  That pretty much sums up American Hustle in a nutshell to me.  While the actual crime-based story of the film is not meant to be inherently comedic, the film still ends up being quite funny, based on the behaviour the characters.  While the film does leave me scratching my head about all the awards praise it was getting, I still thought that it was a fun to watch crime comedy.

The standout performance for me in the film was undoubtedly Jennifer Lawrence, who once again amazes me by demonstrating how well she can act at such a young age.  In the film Lawrence puts on a Bronx accent and plays a somewhat trashy stay-at-home wife, who hates the fact that her husband neglects her for another woman.  The character of Rosalyn is also a bit of an incompetent klutz, who is the source of much of the more hilarious moments of the film.  Without spoiling too much, I will say that “don’t put metal into the science oven” is going to end up being the quote to remember from this film.

Amy Adams has also been getting praise for her role of Sydney Prosser, who spends much of the film pretending to be a British woman named Edith Greensly.  Unlike Lawrence, who I believe is well on her way to getting her second Oscar in a row, I am not so sure about Adam’s performance.  While her character does have many layers, I fear that most are more likely going to remember Sydney from the many very revealing outfits she wears throughout the film.  Amy Adams has undoubtedly had better roles than this one.

Overall, while I don’t necessarily agree with the film’s awards praise (save for Jennifer Lawrence’s performance), I still thought that American Hustle was a fun film to watch and I give it my recommendation.

8 | LIKED IT

Sean Kelly

About Sean Kelly -

Sean Patrick Kelly is a self-described ├╝ber-geek, who has been an avid film lover for all his life. He graduated from York University in 2010 with an honours B.A. in Cinema and Media Studies and he likes to believe he knows what he’s talking about when he writes about film (despite occasionally going on pointless rants).