Wednesday, March 26, 2014

American Hustle - Was it True or Not?!

After all the hype surrounding the Oscar nominated American Hustle I was surprised to find that the film was an overly convoluted and confusing crime thriller with a comedic edge that, while entertaining, left much to be desired.  The film focuses on small time con man Irving Rosenfeld, superbly portrayed by Christian Bale and his accomplice/love interest/mistress Sydney Prosser, also wonderfully played by Amy Adams.  The two are unstoppable and feel like they could do anything and con anyone, until they get caught in a sting operation by up and coming FBI agent Richie DiMaso played by Bradley Cooper.  In an attempt to escape prosecution, the two agree to help DiMaso try and bring down Mayor Camine Polito played by Jeremy Renner.  Along the way, DiMaso gets too power hungry and begins to break the rules established by Irving and Sydney and ends up getting them dragged into the deep underworld of corrupt politicians and deadly mob bosses.  The movie is stacked with big Hollywood names such as Louis C.K. who plays the FBI agent in charge of Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence who plays Irving’s immature, wild, and dangerous wife Rosalyn Rosenfeld.  While the film is a brilliant portrayal of the glitz and glamor of the 1970’s, the story was difficult to grasp and didn’t have the sophistication of other great crime thrillers.  It felt like the movie couldn’t quite decide what it wanted to be.  Part comedy, part love story, part drama, part thriller, the list goes on and on and made the film feel like a splattering of different genres as opposed to a seamless melding of two or three.  The only relatable character is Irving who you can tell is a good guy but a criminal at heart and desperately just wants to be happy.  While the ending was surprising, it didn’t give me the wow factor I was hoping for after sitting through the 2 hour long movie.  In addition, the film opens with the strange statement of “Some of this is true” which I thought would be clarified at the end but wasn’t which left me with more questions than I knew what to do with.  All in all, after seeing the film it’s no surprise it went home empty handed at the Academy Awards.

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