I am just going to start off by saying that American Hustle is one of this years must see movies. It has an extremely strong and talented cast which includes Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper and Jeremy Renner. American Hustle was also directed by David O’Russell (Silver Linings Playbook) who wrote an excellent screenplay together with Eric Singer. Everything about American Hustle was a joy to watch from the characterisation to the costumes and even the soundtrack.
American Hustle is essentially about a con man named Irving Rosenfeld, played by Christian Bale who forms a team with Sydney Prosser, played by Amy Adams,with the aim, to con people into giving them money. All is turned upside down when an ambitious FBI agent called Richie DiMaso (Bradley Cooper) forces this team of con artists into helping DiMaso with his investigations into New Jersey politicians such as Carmine Polito (Jeremy Renner) and other mafia members. Drama in the film is escalated through scenes with Irving’s wife Rosalyn Rosenfeld (Jennifer Lawrence) whose unpredictable behaviour places many characters on edge.
The acting in American Hustle is absolutely phenomenal. Every main cast member seems to be perfectly chosen for their role. Christian Bale absolutely nailed this film and was very convincing in his role as Irving in every scene he was in. Amy Adams as Sydney Prosser was also excellent with her part in this film and had a great English accent for her character and some really great scenes with both Christian Bale and Bradley Cooper. Christian Bale and Amy Adams both had great chemistry in this movie and were great to watch. But so did everyone else. Jennifer Lawrence’s character Rosalyn had the whole theater laughing with some of her lines during her scenes with Christian Bale. While Bradley Cooper also did well with his part and had an interesting character to observe. But the standout for me was Christian Bale, honestly he’s a great actor, from the way his character was presented physically, to the way he performed in his role which was very well acted and entertaining to watch.
All of the actors got great screen time and the characters were very well developed with a lot of attention to detail for the small things such as the combing of Irving’s hair in the opening scene to the small glimpses of the lives of the characters such as Carmine’s family or Dimaso’s living situation that told so much about them and the type of people they were. David O’Russell and Eric Singer really paid attention to the character development when writing their screenplay and the directing from David O’Russell really made the story in American Hustle flow. While American Hustle could have been one of those movies with a plot that you have to watch twice to understand what happened, it wasn’t. I felt that from beginning to end I completely understood everything that went on and to me that is great storytelling. Not like in so many movies where when it finishes you say, but where did this come from? Or how did that happen? American Hustle told its story perfectly and I can’t even think of somewhere to complain about for it.
Overall everyone was fantastic in this film and I can’t fault much unless I really must pick someone, in which case I choose the Sheik. The character of the Sheik played by Said Taghmaoui to me was a bit weak and didn’t add really anything to the film with their performance, sort of out of their depth in both of his scenes. While the character helped illustrate the type of person Richie DiMaso (Bradley Cooper) was, compared to Irving Rosenfeld (Christian Bale) and the difference in skill between the two, to me, the Sheik still was just a waste of character and some might find him annoying . I would say that this is offset though from a very strong but short performance and surprise appearance by Robert De Niro who I didn’t know was in the film, but was. Robert De Niro was great and had a great scene with Jeremy Renner and Christian Bale in American Hustle.
Another great aspect of this film was the costume design and outfits chosen for the characters to wear. For the period the film was set in I thought everything looked great and the characters were so defined by the outfits they were wearing. From Irvings glasses and jackets to Bradley Cooper’s curls even Jeremy Renner’s hair was great! Jennifer Lawrence and Amy Adams had interesting ways of dressing which said a lot about their characters and overall there was good outfit selection for the two leading women, though I must say, with a lot of cleavage for most of their outfits . The soundtrack which is a mix of 1970’s music added a lot to the atmosphere of the movie and helped to define a lot of the scenes.
Overall I would say that American Hustle was a brilliant film with great writing and directing from David O’Russell and a phenomenal cast. American Hustle had a great tone to the film which was very fun to watch and very funny at many of the points, but it could also be quite dramatic when it needed to be sort of in a way how Silver Linings Playbook was in its tone. The storytelling was excellent the acting was great and the characterisation was strong. After watching the film I couldn’t think of anything bad to say about it in my review. It was simply too good and I can’t really fault the movie, it’s honestly just a great movie and I recommend watching American Hustle.