American Hustle – A contemporary dream team powers this dark horse into the Oscars race.

     Hello, everyone! I’m sorry to leave everyone waiting for my next post but I’m back and I’ve picked the right time with Oscar Season here. I’m planning on completing a few more posts this upcoming week but, for now, let’s get to my most recent review.

     American Hustle, directed by David O. Russell (Silver Linings Playbook, The Fighter), tells the story of con man, Irving Rosenfeld (Christian Bale), along with his beautiful and seductive British partner, Sydney Prosser (Amy Adams), being forced to work for an eccentric FBI agent, Richie DiMaso (Bradley Cooper). DiMaso pushes the con artists into the corrupt world of New Jersey politics, headed by Mayor Carmine Polito (Jeremy Renner). The wild card, Rosalyn Rosenfeld (Jennifer Lawrence), is the one person who could bring the entire house of cards crashing down on them all. 
     This film had a lot of support from critics before it officially released and, in one of those few rare times, I completely agreed with them. While it’s not a typical comedy movie, it does a great job balancing between the dark comedy of the film and the drama surrounding the characters. This movie is not perfect but that is easily made up for by the stellar, all-star team of actors that led this film. Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Jennifer Lawrence, and Bradley Cooper have all appeared in David O. Russell’s previous two films, The Fighter and Silver Linings Playbook and it was great that he was able to bring these four tremendous actors together for one film Adding rising star Jeremy Renner (The Avengers) to the stable and you have a dream team. 
     David O. Russell does a great job in providing this film with its own heartbeat and rhythm, showing how much fun he had directing and guiding his characters on an entertaining journey. His characters shined individually and when they were together. Christian Bale’s Irving Rosenfeld, a slippery businessman, was transformed from con man to an unexpected romantic with a heart of gold; Bradley Cooper brought a controlled frenzy of energy to his ambitious and quirky agent DiMaso; Jeremy Renner found an innocence in playing the unaware and oblivious mayor, trying to make New Jersey better. 
     Jennifer Lawrence provided another star-studded performance, making the role of Rosalyn Rosenfeld her own. Playing the entrancing and seductive wife and mother, Lawrence brings a zany and creative type of energy to carry Rosalyn through the shading dealings of her husband while looking for her own place in his world. The best performance had to be from Amy Adams. Her Sydney Prosse, partnered with Irving, finds herself shocked by what she lets herself get into while the movie progresses. Most of the time, she is neither shocked or unpleased by her actions. Amy does a great job, taking the audience every step of the way with her character. 
     Filled with double- and triple-crosses, entrapment, with a sprinkling of love and partying, Russell takes his audience on another character-driven ride as his players go out to accomplish their American Hustle. Hopefully, this hustle will take Russell to the prize that has eluded him the last two years: the Academy Award for Best Picture.
     

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