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Review

‘American Hustle’ wows with stellar cast, comedy

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February 28, 2014

It is scamming all around in “American Hustle,” a film that sends you through the lives of con artists and thieves and keeps you guessing at how it will all fall over.

Irving Rosenfeld (Christian Bale) has been screwing people over for all his life; it’s what he does best and he loves every bit of it. Even when the universe should punish him for this, he is given the love of his life in Amy Adams’ character who is just as devious as him.

Movie poster for American Hustle.
“American Hustle” stars Jennifer Lawrence, Amy Adams, Christian Bale and Bradley Cooper.

When the scam business seems to be going well, it all breaks down when FBI agent Richie DiMaso (Bradley Cooper) busts them both, telling them that the only way they can get out of a jail sentence is by catching a large group of politicians in a crime bust.

Through it all, love and anger will be thrown about and people will be conned as everyone searches for that bliss we all crave called life.

A film that I had wanted to see for a long time, “American Hustle” interested me for its period piece appearance and the humor promoted in its trailers. It was something I was quite excited to see, but I never got around to it until now. “American Hustle” is just as good of a film as I expected.

The film is more or less about con artists trying to find happiness. While every single character may have their own definition of the word, it is something an audience can connect with while at the same time feeling a bit guilty about rooting for crooks and schemers. It is the kind of plot that works very well and keeps you guessing at how it is all going to eventually fall apart.

The directing is superb as well. Each shot is skillfully executed to give that right feeling and coherence to each scene. Set design in particular will entice viewers for its faithful recreation of the 70s and its vibes. I came to believe the setting and was able to really get into the time period. Special props should go to the costume and set designers on the film.

The acting is particularly laudable, with Christian Bale in particular giving an excellent performance as our main weasel, Irving Rosenfeld. He explores his character well and gives him a personality all its own, making for a great showcase of his abilities. Amy Adams does equally as well as the love interest of Rosenfeld, taking on a role I never thought before she could handle; she performed adeptly as well.

“American Hustle” has a lot going for it, and it is no wonder as to why it has been getting award nominations across the board. With the only con I can cite about the film being that it can drag on for some parts and get slow.

Beyond that it is still a piece of art whose themes, style, design and acting will be remembered for years on and serve as a great example of character writing and art direction.

Ryan Funes is a lover of all things movie, TV, video games and stories and wants to become a television writer someday. In his spare time he enjoys hanging with friends, tapping into his imagination, and watching cartoons of all kinds.