Everyone’s a Con Artist
Thanks to Roadshow Films, we had the chance to see David O. Russell’s American Hustle before its Australian cinematic release. This is our review of the film – but as usual – no matter what we say; we recommend that you still go to your local cinema and see the film because: There is no better critic than yourself!
Not long after the worldwide success of Silver Linings Playbook, director David O. Russell is back again with American Hustle, a film set in the 1970s that is loosely based on the true story of two romantically involved low-level hustlers who are caught by the FBI and in exchange for their freedom are coerced into trapping white-collar criminals.
American Hustle has an impressive all-star cast, with Christian Bale taking the lead as Irving Rosenfeld, a Bronx-bred owner of a chain of dry-cleaning stores with a side business of conning innocent and desperate people into fake-loans. His accomplice is his mistress Sydney Prosser (Amy Adams) who he shares a deep connection with, as well as a love for Duke Ellington. Whilst Irving’s actual wife Rosalyn, played by Jennifer Lawrence, is a deliciously hideous character that only brings havoc into Irving’s life and with her conniving ways, manages to lure him back to her. Yet it’s Agent Richie DiMaso (Bradley Cooper) that complicates Irving’s life even more, not only in being competition for the heart of Sydney, but enlisting Irving’s expertise into entrapping politicians like Carmine Polito (Jeremy Renner), a good man only wanting to create jobs for those less fortunate. But Agent DiMaso’s ambition doesn’t end with politicians; he wants to also go after a big named Miami mobster, Tellegio (Robert De Niro).
This film is all about deceit and who can out con the other, so you never know where the story is going to take you and the performances on offer are great, with each of the characters being unique and interesting in different ways. For instance, Bradley Cooper’s character is not the smart and heroic agent he’s conned everyone into believing, he is actually vile, aggressive, and his ambition reeks of greed and self-importance. Cooper does a brilliant job in transitioning his character from impressive to pathetic, but it’s Christian Bale who steals the show. From the moment he is introduced gluing his comb-over in front of the mirror, you think, how could this guy score babes like Amy Adams or Jennifer Lawrence, but Bale show you how and wins you over to.
Then theirs Adams and Lawrence who’s characters bring a whole lot of juiciness into the film, not only with their revealing outfits, but also with their seductively scandalous ways. Another notable performance comes from Louis C.K. who makes a brief appearance as Agent DiMaso’s boss, who’s subtle efforts into putting a stop to DiMaso’s plans goes unnoticed and you only wish this part of the story was given more life so you could see more of the comedic side to Louis character and the agony he goes through with DiMaso.
Engrossed in love triangles, cleavages, comb-overs, big hair, curly hair and everyone conning everyone, this is one extremely enthralling film. It may be a little wispy at times, but overall it’s thoroughly entertaining. You’ll enjoy every minute of it!
American Hustle – now showing in Australian cinemas