Tuesday, December 24, 2013

American Hustle (Movie Review)

The best thing, worst thing, and main thing about David O. Russell's latest Oscar contender "American Hustle" in about the time it takes to watch the trailer. Also don't forget to take a shot at the best ever challenge in the comments!



I’ve decided this David O. Russell guy may actually know what he’s doing.
“American Hustle” is this year’s Oscar contender from David O. Russell the guy who gave us last year’s “Silver Linings Playbook” and before that “The Fighter”. He uses many familiar faces to tell the partly true story of a 1970s con man, his girlfriend, and how their love story plays as a huge scandal breaks around them. The movie stars Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, and Jeremy Renner acting their guts out if for no other reason than to take the attention back from their eye catching 70s attire.
Seriously though, the acting in this movie is so good. These are great actors at the top of their game. Watching them is the best thing about the experience. Christian Bale once again completely disappears into his role as if to say, “Hey remember last year when everybody was saying Daniel Day Lewis was head and shoulders the best actor around, well I’m standing right here!” The one two punch of seeing him in Out of the Furnace, and then in this, has convinced me he belongs in that discussion. Cooper, Adams, and Lawrence are also incredible drawing us into these characters with both passion and humor. I also love the way Russell tells stories. He knows exactly when we need plot information and he knows exactly how to tell it to us. This (and the wonderful writing) makes for a movie that never once loses your interest. Plus the music is just perfect, capturing the era as well as the emotion of each moment. I also have to give a special shout out to Louis CK whose small role almost steals the show. The running gag of him telling the ice fishing story is one of the most fun and clever things in the film. I loved it.
So let’s talk worst thing. As good as this movie is, I did have an issue with it. And It’s an issue I’ve had with David O Russell movies before, the tone at times feels a bit too silly. Now don’t get me wrong, I actually think the humor in this works quite well, it’s more that the staging and dramatic beats feel like they would be more at home in a farce than a serious drama at times. Still, it doesn’t steal enough of the dramatic tension to hinder the overall impact but nonetheless it is something that distracted me occasionally as I watched.
All in All “American Hustle” is another amazing film from director David O. Russell. Using what could be the most talented cast of the year to tell a well woven story of corruption and cons in 1970s America. Even if the tone of the movie is occasionally too silly for its own good I still say it’s an A-.
Thanks for checking out this Your Movie Friend review, stay tuned for this review’s “Best Ever” challenge here in bit but first, I’m going to put up some stuff you can click over in this area. If you’d like to subscribe, which I would much appreciate, you can do so by clicking the big gray subscribe button. Want to see more reviews? You can click here to see reviews of the Walking with Dinosaurs, Anchorman 2, or the documentary Tim’s Vermeer. You can also Click the logo up here to go to yourmoviefriend.com where you can search by title for reviews. And finally this review’s “Best Ever” Challenge, where you name the best movie ever in a particular category and also try to identify my choice. This time you must name “the best movie set in the 70s ever”. The catch? It can’t have been made in the 70s. Mine was directed by a different David and stars Iron Man AND The Hulk. Drop your own answer and a guess at mine in the comments and first person to guess mine gets a point! Thanks and don’t forget to subscribe!

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