David O. Russell’s “American Hustle” entertains

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“Everybody hustles to survive.” This quote encompasses all aspects of the new Sony Pictures film American Hustle. Writer and director David O. Russell adds American Hustle to a successful group of holiday-released films under his direction, including The Fighter and Silver Linings Playbook.

This movie features an all-star cast of Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Bradley Cooper, Jeremy Renner, and Jennifer Lawrence. All but Renner have previously collaborated with Russell in the aforementioned films. The five actors have a combined total of nine Academy Award nominations and two wins.  They are rumored for nominations for this year’s Academy Awards for this film.

The essence of the story revolves around Irving Rosenfield, a con artist played by a forty pound-overweight Christian Bale, who sports a combover. He works with his sultry partner in crime Sidney Posser, played by Amy Adams, who is a supreme con artist herself. The two run a booming business until the day they are stopped by the ditzy FBI agent Richie Dimasso, played by a curly- haired Bradley Cooper. The rest of story revolves around the trio trying to catch other criminals in order to get themselves off the hook. Jeremy Renner plays the mayor of Camden who is conned into this plot and Jennifer Lawrence plays Rosenfield’s needy, insecure housewife, who doesn’t really contribute to the plot.

Despite being generally categorized as a crime-drama, American Hustle is downright hilarious. What really drove this movie’s humor was the five strong leading characters. From Christian Bale’s slick and sloppy con artist, to Jeremy Renner’s genuine mayor of Camden, to Bradley Cooper’s clueless, trickable cop, the acting  made the film shine. Rather than a regular comedy with planned jokes, the humor came in how well the actors knew their respective characters, especially since most of the dialogue was improvised. It was great to see these characters interact because they were all very different, but had pieces of the storyline that tied the characters together.

Finally, the directing (David O. Russell) of American Hustle truly made the movie amazing. The sets, costumes, and hair were relevant to the time period in which the movie was set. American Hustle is another holiday hit by O’Russell with strong actors and a comical plot that made the unconventional story shine.

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