review: american hustle (2013)

This was a solid film. I mean of course it was – it was nominated for 10 Academy Awards… it had to be good.

Synopsis (IMDB): A con man, Irving Rosenfeld, along with his seductive partner Sydney Prosser, is forced to work for a wild FBI agent, Richie DiMaso, who pushes them into a world of Jersey powerbrokers and mafia.

The main cast of American Hustle.

The main cast of American Hustle.

Ok, so my thoughts on the film. It was good. It was smart. It was one of those films that you sometimes don’t understand fully, but sort of get the general gist of and just go with the flow. (Or maybe that’s just me, because big words and fast talking confuse me…). In my mind though, 10 nominations is a slight stretch.

It wasn’t perfect. For me, the costuming, settings, and most of the actors/actresses’ performances were ok – but whoever was in charge of the lighting in this movie was sleeping during filming. The ambiance, and feels of a film really rely on good lighting techniques, and the colouring in this film didn’t capture the right essence to carry the story forward in a believable way. Because of this shabby colouring throughout the film, I just couldn’t believe the story, and just kept seeing the actors performing in weird outfits, rather than the characters living out their lives and individual stories.

Irving and

Irving and “Sydney Prosser”.

Moving on to the actors themselves – they were good, but there is always room for improvement. Christian Bale as Irving Rosenfeld was great in my opinion. He was believable, and I can’t believe how gross they were able to make him. His character was one of the few in this film that I was able to separate from their actors. Bradley Cooper I think, is great at the whole fast, smart-talking thing. He has really shone in films like this, and Limitless (2011). I like him. Amy Adams was meh. Although her character’s accent is supposed to be fake, it still just wasn’t believable enough and it was very awkward to watch her. I just kept thinking of Julie and Julia and boeuf bourguignon. The last actress I am going to talk about is Jennifer Lawrence. I don’t care if people think she has been getting too much attention and publicity. She is great. Although her accent did slip a few times throughout this film, the emotions expressed in her performance were genuine, and she pulled off a difficult character to play, beyond her actual years.

Scene from American Hustle.

Scene from American Hustle.

I’m going to be that girl and compare American Hustle to The Wolf of Wall Street. This movie actually felt longer to me than Leo’s film did, although The Wolf of Wall Street actually stands at approx. 40 minutes longer than American Hustle. Time is supposed to fly when you are having fun isn’t it? I don’t know, while this seems to be an unpopular opinion out there, I actually enjoyed The Wolf of Wall Street more than I did this movie. It was lighter, wittier, and altogether more enjoyable to watch. Just my opinion though.

just my rating: ★★★★

More reviews on American Hustle:
Ed’s Film Blogs – American Hustle – Review
Movie Pieces – American Hustle
YoungCinemaBuffs – American Hustle

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