Monday, January 6, 2014

American Hustle (2013)

“She was the Picasso of passive-aggressive karate.”

            As soon as I saw the cast of American Hustle I had to see it. I did not even care if the plot was awful or if the reviews were terrible I just had to see it. I finally got to see American Hustle and it was very good and the cast was perfection.
            Sydney Prosser (Amy Adams) goes to New York City from New Mexico. Through a Goodfellas- like voice over (that switches back and forth between Sydney and Irving)- she says she just wanted to be anyone but who she was and that changes when she meets Irving Rosenfeld (Christian Bale). The two meet at a party in Long Island one weekend and bond over Duke Ellington. Irving immediately takes to Sydney he really loves her. Sydney comes to love Irving but unfortunately for her Irving is married to a younger woman named Roslyn (Jennifer Lawrence) and has adopted her son.
            Irving eventually tells Sydney what he really does. He does own a few dry cleaning stores and some other legitimate businesses but what he really does is scam people by saying he can give them loans if they pay him five thousand dollars up front. Sydney is upset with him at first but then decides to join his scam. She creates the role of Lady Edith Greensley who has banking connections in England. The loans are never guaranteed so if the people are approved for their loans there is not a huge problem.
            One day trouble does come along in the form of Richie Dimaso (Bradley Cooper) an FBI agent. He and the FBI catch Sydney and Irving but only arrest Sydney since she took the money. Sydney is kept in jail for three days. Richie likes her and wants to help her. When Irving is allowed to see Sydney, Richie tells them in order to get off the hook they have to help catch four people in other scams. Richie wants to go after Carmine Polito (Jeremy Renner) a New Jersey mayor who wants to rebuild Atlantic City and does not mind getting his hands dirty for the sake of making his state better.
            After a while the whole deal goes south once Richie starts aiming for bigger fish in his quest to become a sort of celebrity.
            The cast was brilliant in all sense of the word. I have to admit I am not really a fan of either Christian Bale or Jeremy Renner and that goes for this movie as well but they were not as bad as they usually are for me. Bale pulled off being an overweight con artist so well. I will give the man credit he really does go all out for a role and always does well. I am just not thrilled with him for some reason he does not do anything for me. Renner was totally not believable as an Italian mayor who grew up in New Jersey. Renner to be is Hawkeye or whoever he was in the Bourne Supremacy where he does not have to do too much talking. Despite not being the best choice for the role Renner oddly fit with the rest of the actors.
            This movie truly belongs to Jennifer Lawrence, Amy Adams, and Bradley Cooper. Seriously Jennifer Lawrence can do absolutely no wrong. The woman is so damn amazing. She is not even in the movie that much but she steals the whole damn thing! I was laughing so hard with all her scenes. The best is when she aggressively danced around the house and singing “Live and Let Die” by Paul McCartney. Lawrence is just awesome. You can see her immense talent because she just falls right into the characters. She convincingly becomes this crazy Long Island housewife. There is a scene between Lawrence and Amy Adams that just blew my mind because Lawrence just kicked its ass. In a review from the Montreal Gazette they perfectly sum up Jennifer Lawrence in this movie:
            “This should have been Adams’s ride, but Jennifer Lawrence, playing Rosenfeld’s wife, carjacks the whole movie in the last act with just a handful of scenes and takes us on a dizzying joyride to the finale.”
            And you know what it should have been Amy Adams’ movie and had Jennifer Lawrence not been casted I am sure it would have been. This is another woman with such tremendous talent. Every year this poor woman seems to be nominated for an Academy Award and she never wins when she totally deserves to. Adams has been in better movies than this and should have won for those but I have a feeling she could win something for her role here. There is a story how Katharine Hepburn told Audrey Hepburn that she would win for an inferior role after Audrey lost with Eliza Doolittle (she would eventually win for Wait Until Dark which was not that great). I have a feeling this happen with Adams with this or some time down the road (I still think she should have won for Doubt she was beyond amazing in that). What I like about Adams is that she looks like an innocent woman like I could never imagine her cursing or being half naked or fully naked and she pretty much does both in American Hustle and has done before in other movies. Maybe that is why I find Adams so great because I am always surprised by what she does in movies. Adams also gets lost in her role she becomes the characters and blows them away.
            Bradley Cooper just gets better and better with every movie he makes. He will forever be Will Tippin from Alias to me (I say this all the time and will forever do most likely with any of his movies I see). He was a good actor then (thirteen years ago!! Holy shit!) and he got better. Cooper, besides Alias, always seems to play assholes. He was an asshole here too… but so was everyone else. I hope Cooper can pull off a nomination for some award for his performance in this movie he deserves it.

            Robert De Niro, Jack Huston, and Shea Whigham make appearances. De Niro plays, what else, a mobster, looking for a piece of reconstructing Atlantic City. Jack Huston plays one of De Niro’s thugs. Shea Whigham plays some other kind of con artist as well. They all have small parts. I mention Huston and Whigham because they are/were both on Boardwalk Empire, which takes place in Atlantic City. Houston and Lawrence have a few scenes together and I have to say I would like to see them together in another movie some time.
            The costumes I liked more for the women. The 1970s were just a bad time for fashion. The clothes were so damn ugly especially for the men. Lawrence and Adams looked stunning in all the costumes they had to wear. Their costumes were all low cut and simple compared to the actual clothes from the time period. Adams looked gorgeous in all her outfits I could not even handle it. Lawrence looked like she was going to fall out of all of hers but she looked fabulous. The suits the men wore were terrible. Holy garbage they were sickening.
American Hustle was very good. I honestly did not know what to expect and I am happy I was not let down in any way. The cast was so good together, thank God otherwise I would have been let down. What I really liked about the movie was none of the characters are likeable and they are not right from the beginning. They are human they are idiots and they make mistakes. Maybe Carmine Polito is the only character you can sympathize with and that is all. David O. Russell wrote and directed the film. He said he cares more for the characters than he does plots and I am glad someone likes character more than plot. You see the care he put into writing these character and they are all enthralling and entertaining. I highly suggest going to see American Hustle for its cast, story, and all around entertainment.