Very loosely based on the ABSCAM FBI sting of the late 1970’s/ early 80’s (no I hadn’t heard of it either), American Hustle is a fun and fabulous romp through this gloriously tacky moment in time. The film opens with the words ‘Some of this actually happened ‘ ….. so from that moment on, you need to dismiss what you just read on Wikipedia (I know, I know) and just sit back and enjoy what you are about to see.
Irving Rosenfeld (Bale) is a New Jersey con-man who is not doing to badly for himself. He owns a chain of dry cleaners and deals in fake art. He wants more but lacks the brains and chutzpah to make it happen. Enter Sydney Prosser (Adams), an ex dancer who also wants more but does have the brains and chutzpah to make it happen. The pair embark on a passionate affair and a simple con that involves Sydney posing as a British aristocrat with ‘banking connections’ and soon many fools are being parted from their money.
Soon enough, the pair are caught by swaggering FBI agent Richie DiMaso (Cooper) who *coughs* convinces *coughs* them to work with him to entrap corrupt politicians and businessmen. With the promise of fuss-free work permits ….. well fuss-free everything …. and mega bucks, it doesn’t take long before Irv is way out of his league.
When Irv and Sydney start dealing with local Mayor Carmine Polito (Renner), they enter the dark and extremely shadowy world where politics meets the mafia. It all changes here. They are dealing with people who need more than some fast talking and plunging cleavage to bring them on-board. One memorable scene involves Irv and Carmine and their respective wives out for dinner. Irv’s wife Rosalyn (Lawrence) is a yappy, rich, bored housewife whose propensity for blurting out things at the exact wrong moment provides both cringeworthy and hilarious moments.
This movie is worthy of every great review, every nomination it has and will receive this year. It twists and turns until you don’t know who the good guys are or what team they are on. Not that there are many good guys but you get my point. There is little substance or depth to the script but who cares. With the fast talking, horribly bad hair piece, paunchy and slightly slimy Christian Bale vying with the arrogant, perm haired, swivel hipped, 70’s sexy Bradley Cooper for the attentions of Adams, this can’t be anything but entertaining. Sure this is not the main story but it is certainly great fun and provides more than a distraction.
American hustle is tacky, vulgar, shiny gold. It comes complete with a killer cheesy 70’s soundtrack. It is fun and fabulous and you should make sure you see this one. You don’t have to think too hard but you will have to pay attention. Watching Jennifer Lawrence’s character blow up a microwave is worth the admission price alone.
Love Flick xx
Director : David O. Russell
Starring : Amy Adams, Christian Bale, Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper, Jeremy Renner, Louis C.K., Jack Huston, Michael Peña, Alessandro Nivola, Elisabeth Rohm, Thomas Matthews, Jack Jones, Jay Giannone
Running Time : 138 minutes
Release Date : 12 December, 2013