Monday, February 3

American Hustle

The Film Fatales boogie oogie oogie back to the ‘70s and end up getting hustled. 

American Hustle. 2013. Rated R. 138 minutes. Starring Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Jeremy Renner. Directed by David O. Russell.  

A con man, Irving Rosenfeld, along with his seductive British partner, Sydney Prosser, is forced to work for a wild FBI agent, Richie DiMaso. DiMaso pushes them into a world of Jersey powerbrokers and mafia. [IMDb] 

Nicole: American Hustle was, to coin a phrase, a Disco Inferno of a movie. David O. Russell’s engrossing tale of two-bit con artists forced to turn tricks for the Feds in order to save their hides is a tangled, messy web. Like O. Russell’s Silver Linings Playbook, it may be a shade too long and could have achieved the same result in a shorter telling. But, I won’t chide him too much on that point, because this was a really enjoyable film.  

elizabeth: I got Saturday Night Fever on my record player (look that up) and I think I might have inhaled a tad too much polyester, but I think this could be one of my fave movies of 2013. Inhaling some strange substances and starring into lava lamps makes me a kinder person. I don’t like that about me. 

Nicole: Look, what you do in your private time is none of my business, but know this: I am silently judging you. I’m not entirely sure I enjoyed this movie so much for the plot, which wasn’t anything mind-blowing, but more so for the performances. Can I just say that Christian Bale is just ridiculous? He might be the male Meryl Streep. He just disappears into a role, making you forget entirely that this is the same guy who brought Batman and The Fighter to life. His ability to nail accents is truly remarkable and his mannerisms are so intuitive; he’s really a pleasure to watch. 

elizabeth:  I did like the storyline even though the hopelessness of these characters was palpable. They all had such unremarkable lives that bordered on manic sadness. But it seemed once their paths crossed, a certain amount of electricity filled the screen. Their lives started to matter even if it meant working with the FBI as a way to stay out of jail.

I have to talk about Christian Bale, also. His character, Irving Rosenfeld, was physically repulsive to me, but as the movie went on and a certain amount of vulnerability came out of Irving, I no longer saw the double wrap-around hair, but a man just struggling to love and be loved…to matter in this world.  His eyes told stories beyond the script. I also have to say that I feel he should win the Best Actor Oscar. His absolute brilliance on the screen has made me a fan although I don’t think I will sit through Batman, but I would watch American Hustle again just to see Bale become Irving. 

Nicole: Bradley Cooper, too, wowed me. I like that he can do turns in zany, crass comedies like The Hangover and then pull out a really top-notch, compelling performance of a career-driven Fed who gets in over his head. The perm was a bit unfortunate, but hey – it was the late ‘70s. Everyone had one, and they…were…fabulous! (Glad we, as a society, have come to our senses on that one.)
elizabeth: Cooper’s perm was perfect…perfectly ugly. It did pain me to see a good looking man looking so bad, but he nailed the role of Richie DiMaso. I thought he was wildly sexy and intelligent and then – ick, he is bloody nuts! And there you go again, calling The Hangover a comedy and zany at that. Who are you anyway? 

Nicole: My name is Nicole…and I’m a crass-a-holic. Jennifer Lawrence, was, as usual a joy to watch. I predict she’s going to be around for a long, long, long time. But I’m not entirely sure what all the fuss is about Amy Adams’ performance. It was a fine performance, but nothing to rave about. Certainly not akin to the caliber of performance that Meryl Streep brought in August: Osage County – but then again, no one can really compare to Streep, who is in a class all by herself. 

elizabeth:   Yes, I agree with you about Jennifer and Amy.  I must be overdoing it with the lava lamp. In case the Best Actor award does not go to Bale, I would like to see Meryl Streep come up to receive her Oscar and then relinquish it and give it to Christian Bale. Now I don’t know how he would take getting a Best Actress Oscar…and I am not going to watch him in American Psycho to find out.

Nicole: OK now, ‘scuse me while I put on my, my, my, my, my boogie shoes… 

elizabeth:  Do my platform shoes make my butt look big?

The Film Fatales give AMERICAN HUSTLE 


  1. Ah, this is playing in town - Will have to go see it now.

  2. hilarity enues! i enjoyed this movie more in retrospect. the acting was superb, including amy adams. keep up the reviews.