Today for Sanuk Film Club, we review David O. Russell’s ‘American Hustle’.
Let’s start it this way, ‘American Hustle’ will win awards. A lot of them. Following up past successes ‘Silver Linings Playbook’ and ‘The Fighter,’ director David O. Russell returns with quite possibly his best film yet in ‘American Hustle.’ The film stars Christian Bale and Amy Adams in the leads, with Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, and Jeremy Renner in supporting roles.
The story is loosely based on the late 70′s FBI operation known as ABSCAM. Bale plays a small time con artist with a wild comb over who goes into business with an ambitious woman played by Amy Adams. They both are looking for something bigger and better. But plans go array when an FBI agent with an intensely tight perm played by Bradley Cooper catches and forces the couple in a bigger scheme to elevate his own career.
Seriously though, check out the perm. It’s insane.
Awful hair proves to be an underlying theme throughout the film. Take a look at Christian Bale in the opening scene:
From that scene on, ‘American Hustle’ is anything but mellow. The film prides itself being as loud as the time in which the film was set. Crazy hair, loud clothing, and enormous dialogue, ‘Hustle’ is a nonstop entertaining ride that is simply just a ton of fun to watch. Each scene of the film seems like a movie within itself. There is so much content jammed into the two hours, the viewer always has something to sink into but is never exhausted by it. But deep below the incessant absurdity that covers this movie like a 1970′s fur coat exists an interesting character study that examines ones desire in achieving the American Dream. The American Dream, in a sense, is an opportunity for transformation into something greater. Each character represents this in a different way. They are always striving, always pushing, always hustling at whatever cost to attain their dream. As the tagline says it best, “Everyone Hustles to Survive.”
Overall, this film is super fun to watch and arguably the best film of the year. ‘Hustle’ will no doubt be in contention for the most Oscar Nominations. The cast is so good, especially Jennifer Lawrence as Rosalyn (Rosenfeld’s neurotic housewife), there could even be a possibility of a sweep in the four major acting categories (though unlikely to happen). This is a definite movie to see, you will not be disappointed. So slip on your most comfortable pair of Sanuks, head on over to your nearest theater, grab a big ol’ tub of buttery popcorn goodness and enjoy ‘American Hustle’, in theaters today.