Tuesday, July 8, 2014

American Hustle

American Hustle (2013) by David O. Russell

This weekend I finally watched American Hustle

*Cue indignant grunts and tongue clucks*

I can't even blame you guys.

My celebrity crush Jennifer Lawrence is in it. And so are Limitless star Bradley Cooper, who had great chemistry with Lawrence in Silver Linings Playbook (2012), Amy Adams, and of course Hawkeye and Batman.

Oh, and did I mention the trailer looked like a cleavage-packed, explosive, funky good time?

Unfortunately, The Wolf of Wall Street happened, forcing me to put the David O. Russell movie on the back burner.

The 411? 

It's 1978. Big-bellied Irving Rosenfeld (Christian Bale) is a con artist, unhappily married to Rosalyn (Lawrence), but hesitant to leave her out of fear of losing his son. He starts an affair/business relationship with Sydney Prosser aka "Lady Edith Greensly" (Adams), with whose help his scams become more elaborate and lucrative. Enter overeager FBI agent Richie DiMaso (Cooper), who catches Irving and Sydney in a loan scam. He offers to release them if Irving can line up four additional arrests. Mayor Carmine Polito (Jeremy Renner) becomes the prime target of the trio's sting operation.

Well, this is awkward.

Because the wait had been so long, I had tremendously built up this movie in my head. I don't want to be unfair and completely dismiss American Hustle because of this, but I must say that I was largely disappointed. Sure, Lawrence & Co. turn in great performances, Louis C.K. is awesome as Richie's boss, and the soundtrack is slicker than an oil spill, but the plot is simply too all-over-the-place for my taste. Director David O. Russell does his best Martin Scorsese impression, but the 138-minute con artist caper might have benefited from a bit of true Scoresese-ey electricity to keep me entertained for the entire duration.

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