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Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Movie review: 'American Hustle' is one of the year's best


Amy Adams, Bradley Cooper, Jeremy Renner, Christian Bale, and Jennifer Lawrence in Columbia Pictures' American Hustle

So many good things have already been written and said about it and what more can I add except it's a really great film with so much comedy and fantastic music and excellent performances that you really must hustle and get to see it and find out what everyone's talking about.

I did not know Robert De Niro was going to be in the film, but his appearance was a nice surprise, and he is perfect for the part.  (I mean, who else would they get for the role?) 

Bradley Cooper and Christian Bale in American Hustle

That was Christian Bale?  The IMDB trivia site says he gained 40 pounds for the role.  Gulp!  He did.  With a little hustle, he reminded me physically of Marlon Brandon in the Godfather.

The movie is "loosely based"on the Abscam scandal of the 1970s and 1980s, and after reading the Wikipedia account, the film contains more truth than expected. 

I loved the way the injuries lasted and were not immediately wiped clean (?).  I loved the convincing few moments played by Patsy Meek, Richie's  mother.  Jennifer Lawrence was perfect as the jilted wife. (Someone's going to jilt her?)  

Hair design deserves kudos for making male hair more significant and attention grabbing than the women's which were basically the same (Amy Adams and Lawrence).
Consider how inauthentic Bradley Cooper (did you know he graduated from Georgetown with an honors degree in English?) would have been without the curls which the trivia site says were suggested by the wearer himself. 

Jeremy Renner's mane is several inches high.  (I wish I knew the name of the hairspray they used. They could sell that in the lobby and make more profit.) He had a 1950ish Elvis "come hither" look, leading me to wonder if the stylists got the decades mixed up.  He did handle a guitar. Wait... Elvis died in 1977.  Whatever.

The trivia site (is interesting) says some of the movie was improvised on the set and Amy Adams suggested the lesbian kiss (for Ben and Eric who crave that stuff).

It's the third film with De Niro, Lawrence, and Cooper together on screen, and their mix is great composition.  "You do it your way and I'll do it mine, and that's what life is all about."

Attention, Obscenity Police (like me):  The F-bomb plays a major role (the movie is rated R), however, it is not the gratuitous usage we heard in, say, Her. 

I really have no qualms about any portion. It was all thoroughly entertaining. You'll have fun. Now, go, go, go.

Herewith, Oscar nominations:

Best Picture

Best Director: David O. Russell

Best Actor: Christian Bale

Best Supporting Actress: Jennifer Lawrence
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Dan O. said...

Nice review Patricia. Everybody here is on their game, especially Cooper who, in a perfect world, would be looking at an Oscar nomination this year. I can only hope though.

Patricia Leslie said...

Hi Dan O,

Thank you for the comment. I thought about nominating Bradley, too! Meanwhile, that sex scene with him and Amy Adams on the table was the first I can recall designed for women. Or, at least it was for me. WOWEE. I almost felt like he was putting his arms around me, and that's pretty powerful stuff to convey that on the screen.