Set in New Jersey, American Hustle follows con man Irving Rosenfeld (Christian Bale) along with his partner and lover Sydney Prosser (Amy Adams) who get caught in one of their schemes by FBI agent Richie DiMaso (Bradley Cooper). However, instead of imprisonment, DiMaso convinces the two to pull off their biggest heist yet on political operator Carmine Polito (Jeremy Renner). Rosenfield agrees, while also trying to keep his eccentric wife Rosalyn (Jennifer Lawrence) under control and unable to blow their cover.
Under the fabulous direction of David O.Russell, American Hustle looks and feels like a 70s con/mob film through and through. Everything from the set pieces, the costumes, and even the soundtrack completely brings you out of the present and thrown into the world being portrayed on screen. The story itself doesn’t exactly bring anything new to the table as far as con artist sub genre, but everything else about it sets apart from any other film you’ll see this year. We are given a group of characters that each have their own story to tell in the way they are presented to us. Even if a person viewing the film isn’t exactly sold by the story, it’s the characters that really help move the film along.
Along with the engaging characters, we have an outstanding cast that help bring them to life. Christian Bale does a good job as the lead as the slimy con man who thinks he’s on the top of the world. Amy Adams plays his partner and lover and portrays the seductive role with ease. However, our two other leads give the best performances of the film. Bradley Cooper provides a lot of the comic relief in the film as the cop who coaxes the two con artists into the situation. He plays the cocky and at times crazy character who tries to use his charm to get what he wants, and Cooper nails it. Also providing comic relief is Jennifer Lawrence. At 22-years-old she’s playing a role that requires her to act so much older than she actually is. As the wife of Bale’s character, she plays the snooping and eccentric character so perfectly and just over-the-top enough to really believe it. She once again proves that she is the most talented young actress of her generation.
American Hustle is an excellent addition to the sub genre with excellent direction and a solid cast that help bring the story and setting to life and completely take you into the world you’re watching portrayed.
My Rating: 9/10