The seventies live large in American Hustle, the captivating ensemble film from director David O. Russell that can’t help but recall not just the era the film is set in, but the filmmakers of the time as well. Catch our review after the jump.
American Hustle is the pseudo-true story of two lovers/hustlers (Amy Adams and Christian Bale) who wind up playing the wrong guy, an FBI agent (Bradley Cooper) looking to make a name for himself. To avoid jail time, the duo agree to help nail others, one of whom ends up including the mayor of Camden, New Jersey (Jeremy Renner).
With the 70s style present in both fashion and hair, four of the biggest A-list actors in Hollywood today are absolutely brilliant in the film. Overweight with a horrid combover, Christian Bale is virtually unrecognizable in his role as Irving Rosenfeld. Bale is without question his generation’s Robert DeNiro, morphing himself into whatever role he plays. Though there’s no physical transformation, Amy Adams more than holds her own beside him. It’s s fantastic onscreen pairing. In fact, there is no bum performance throughout the entire film. With an excellent script and David O. Russell’s peerless directing, I’m guessing this will be the film to beat come Oscar time.
To me, American Hustle is epic filmmaking, along the same lines as Francis Ford Coppola and Martin Scorsese’s work during the 70s, and even Paul Anderson’s Boogie Nights, an easy comparison but onr that I think is justified. While some may find the film a little overlong, it’s hsrd to fault a film for taking its time in crafting compelling characters and a riveting story.