Movie: American Hustle

February 14, 2014

Our wedding anniversary gave us the opportunity and impetus to go to the cinema for the first time in many months.  We went to see American Hustle at the Odeon, Braehead, and even though it was Orange Wednesday the theater was almost empty.  Because we have to wait till Lewis is settled we missed the early showings so didn’t get in till after 9, with adverts, trailers, and a movie that was too long for its own good we didn’t get in till nearly midnight – which in the past wouldn’t have been worth commenting on but now with sleep interrupted most nights it is much more of a challenge.

movie poster

movie trailer

So, the film?  Irving Rosenfeld (played by Christian Bale and a lot of makeup) is a conman who partners and falls in love with Sydney Prosser (Amy Adams).  They get caught by Richie DiMaso (Bradley Cooper) an FBI agent who offers them a deal of working for him rather than going to jail.  The deal is that they will con (or entrap) corrupt politicians by offering them bribes.  But while the crime caper story is engaging, at times funny and provides the main narrative this film is all about the central characters and the fantastic performances that make them so captivating.  I read a review somewhere that this was a 3 star film with 5 star performances, I would rate the film higher than 3 starts but the it is true that the individual performances are much more memorable than the overall story.  Particularly given that, according to press interviews, much of the performance was improvised.  There are certainly a number of intense scenes that look unscripted and that the actors were reacting rather than acting.

Another massive feature of this movie is the look and sound of New York in the late 70s, the costumes, hair-styles (every review seems to mention the hair, but it really is an integral part of the movie from the very opening scene), and above all the superb mix tape from the 70s soundtrack which brings the era to life. –long black road

Like many films IMHO this could have been shorter, it was a little self indulgent, lingered and lost pace towards the end, but other than that a great movie.