More To Say #10: American Hustle

American Hustle 2013 poster.jpg

American Hustle is a 2013 American criminal black comedy-drama film directed by David O. Russell. It was written by Eric Warren Singer and Russell, inspired by the FBI ABSCAM operation of the late 1970s and early 1980s. It stars Christian Bale and Amy Adams as two con artists who are forced by an FBI agent (Bradley Cooper) to set up an elaborate sting operation on corrupt politicians, including the mayor of Camden, New Jersey (Jeremy Renner). Jennifer Lawrence plays the unpredictable wife of Bale’s character. Principal photography on the film began on March 8, 2013, in Boston and Worcester, Massachusetts, and New York City.

American Hustle had its nationwide release in the United States on December 13, 2013. It opened to wide acclaim from critics, who praised its writing and ensemble cast. The film received ten nominations at the 86th Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, Best Actor (Bale), Best Actress (Adams), Best Supporting Actor (Cooper), and Best Supporting Actress (Lawrence), but did not win in any category. It received three BAFTA Awards, three Golden Globe Awards including Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy, and the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture.

In American Hustle, the cast is what I feel to be the best part of that movie. Bradley Cooper once again does a great job in this movie playing Richie DiMaso , Amy Adams also does a very good job in this playing as Sydney Prosser, and Christian Bale is also very good as Irving Rosenfield as is Jeremy Renner. There’s a great cameo by Robert De Niro here as well, although I thought he had a bigger role because if you watch the first trailer, he’s in the main cast but when you watch the film, he’s only in it for about a few minutes.

But the two highlight performances of the film that stuck out to me were Louis C.K. as Bradley Cooper’s boss, Stoddard Thorsen. And that’s mostly because I was surprised at how much Louis C.K. could range his acting abilities in the role, we’ve seen Louis C.K. playing it as himself on Louie for three seasons but here, I was very surprised that he was giving a great performance and he does have some of the film’s best moments.

The other great performance in this is, once again, Jennifer Lawrence. I mean, I don’t know what it is but in every movie I see her, she’s usually the best part in it and here, it’s no exception. Her performance in this is great and for what she has to do in it, she just lets go and gives a terrific performance in it. I think her performance in this is up there with Lupita N’Yongo’s in 12 Years A Slave.

American Hustle, on the other hand, is one of the most confusing stories ever put to film. If the story for American Hustle had been more simpler to understand, this movie would’ve been as good as Silver Linings’ Playbook but nope, it’s one of those scripts that just goes all over the place and it doesn’t know where it wants to go. I don’t think it’s David O’Russell’s fault, even though he co-wrote the script. I think it’s the other writer, Eric Warren Singer, because the last movie this guy wrote, The International, suffers from the same problems, there’s so much shit going on in that film that you can’t enjoy the film because he kept throwing in pointless things in the film that serve no purpose to the plot at all.

One of the other baffling things about the script is that they forget things that happened in the film before. Like there’s a scene towards the end where Bradley Cooper finds out that Amy Adams, who’s been using an English accent, and is upset when early on in the film when they share scenes, there was clearly a scene where Cooper was talking to Adams in her regular American accent. How the hell do you miss that?

On top of that, the rest of the movie just goes all over the place towards the end and has no real idea on where it wants to go to at the end and by the end of it, I had no idea how they managed to get out of their bad situations but they did.

But to be fair to American Hustle, it’s not a terrible movie by any means, I think the cast saves the film from being completely disappointing with again, the two highlight performances coming from Louis C.K. and Jennifer Lawrence. But that script is just all over the place and seriously needed a second run-through before they actually shot the movie. I like it but it’s not one of the year’s best movies.

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