#REVIEW: “AMERICAN HUSTLE”
As if the race for Best Picture isn’t already a crowded affair, things are about to get even more heated. Details surrounding acclaimed Director/Writer David O. Russell‘s latest, the megawatt star-powered American Hustle, managed to remain under wraps for quite some time, but finally the moviegoing Public will discover its Award-deserving greatness.
Set during the ‘70s amidst a bustling New Jersey, Con Artist Irving Rosenfeld (Christian Bale) charms the beautiful Sydney Prosser (Amy Adams) into a life she never possibly could never have imagined, becoming both his Mistress and trusted Partner-in-Crime swindling those who are unable to secure loans with bogus retainer fees. Onto them completely, Detective Richie DiMaso (Bradley Cooper) charms his way to Sydney and it isn’t long before their covers are blown. Richie eventually is able to coerce them into his self-piloted sting which could well bring him glory, unveiling a ring of corruption surrounding Mayor Carmine Polito (Jeremy Renner), who is eager to bring-in funding for a job-creating Casino in Atlantic City. Richie, Irving and Sydney (as her seductive British Alter-ego) soon find themselves caught in a deep web of deception, entangled in a passionate Love Triangle in this high-stakes game of survival, about which Irving‘s fiery young Wife Rosalyn (Jennifer Lawrence) may have a thing or two to say.
Russell certainly has reached a sweet spot in his already celebrated Career, dating back to 2010’s Academy Award-nominated The Fighter. 2012’s Silver Linings Playbook soon followed – a bit of an off-kilter, though charming romp, resonating with Audiences and Critics alike. American Hustle however, like its own Ensemble of Characters certainly isn’t afraid of getting its hands grimy. Beneath all the corruption though is unmistakable heart as these Characters have an unifying need for love, driving them all to do the unimaginable.
Bale on all accounts is the spirit of the Story, though we become so enthralled in seeing the World through the eyes of these richly-developed Characters that we sometimes forgot he in fact is narrating. We want much for him to win Sydney’s affections, which is not an easy feat considering he actually is morally reprehensible. Adams is in fine form here, transforming into a role unlike any other we’ve ever seen her, complete with plunging necklines. She is outright irresistible when she’s naughty and it is little mystery why she finds herself fawned over and resented especially by Rosalyn. Cooper also is delightfully entertaining as the wild and growingly sexually-repressed Richie, while Silver Linings Playbook Co-Star Lawrence provides many of the laughs in her lonely self-absorption, commanding the screen at every given moment. Renner completely humanizes his Carmine, unrelenting in his commitment to make his New Jersey a better place, tragically flawed like the others in this Ensemble.
eOne Films releases the unquestionably-brilliant American Hustle on Friday, December 20, 2013. A Holiday Movie for the Underdog.