Culture Street


Review: American Hustle

On December 12, 2013

By Jessica Whitfield

Opening with a tongue in cheek – “Some of this actually happened” – director David O. Russell sets up this black comedy perfectly.

Set in the 70s, and accordingly full of perms and flared pants, the film centres on an F.B.I agent and a notorious con artist, who work together to entrap corrupt politicians Though the film is set around a particular scam, the intrigue lies more in players than the actual play.

Player one, Irv Rosenfeld, is a con man from New Jersey and is played by Christian Bale. 20 kilograms heavier and sporting a very questionable comb over, Bale brings to life this rather large, unattractive character who takes himself far too seriously, giving him a comical edge. Irv Rosenfeld’s wife, Rosalyn, enters the picture after having just accidentally set part of the house on fire and this just about sums up her character perfectly. Irv describes her as the "Picasso of passive-aggressive karate." Hilariously played by Jennifer Lawrence, this performance will surely have her in amongst the 2014 Oscar nominees.

Player two is the glamorous and ever so sexy, Sydney Prosser, played by Amy Adams. With an array of extremely low cut gowns, this ambitious and passionate woman is the perfect lady for the scam. Adams beautifully brings warmth to this intelligent character.

The third player in this saga is F.B.I agent Richie DiMaso, played by the excellent perm-wearing Bradley Cooper. DiMaso is a fast paced character who lives with his mother and has a slight anger management problem. With delivery that is so quick and witty, you cannot help but love Bradly Cooper’s portrayal of DiMaso.

This all star cast also features Jeremy Renner as Mayor Carmine Polito (also sporting a rather extravagant hairstyle), Louis CK as Richie DiMaso’s rather uptight boss, and Robert De Niro as a very intimidating mafia boss.

Beginning with a clever voice-over and flashback scenario, American Hustle promises to be a favourite during award season and should garner an Oscar nomination for Best Director, if not more.

With big, mad characters and an intriguing plot, this extremely entertaining and punchy film is a must see!


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