AMERICAN HUSTLE

BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELL
DECEMBER 26, 2013

A collection of David O. Russell’s top players, Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, and Amy Adams collaborate in one of the best ensemble cast films of the year, “American Hustle”. Taking a spin on the ‘70s FBI operation known as ABSCAM (Abdul Scam) in which an apprehended con artist was used to set up members of congress by using the promise of money from a fake sheik, Russell inserts his players into the roles and every one of them makes them their own. Christian Bale plays the sleaze con artist Irving Rosenfeld, whose brutal honesty towards those closest to him, his wife Rosalyn (Jennifer Lawrence) and his mistress Sydney (Amy Adams) is reflected best by his willingness to scam just about everyone else. Jumping on the weak when they’re in most need of money, Irving falls into the trap of FBI agent Richard DiMaso (Bradley Cooper), a high strung up and coming agent with something to prove. By using leverage against Irving to do his dirty work and ensnaring good guy politician Carmine Polito (Jeremy Renner) into the ABSCAM to which the pot just keeps on getting bigger, eventually involving a Senator and even the mob. Throughout the screenplay, everyone appears to be scamming on someone and unravels like a tightly-knit mystery until the very last scene. With gorgeous garb on all the women and some amazing stylings, “American Hustle” embodies the era perfectly, showing off the attire, or lack thereof, of that generation. Losing itself, at times, in a convoluted plot and nobody can win situations, the screenplay eventually wins over in a tremendous climax that fixes most of the wrongs. Along with Russell’s impeccable directing talent to extract such amazing performances from his ensemble cast, “American Hustle” continues his wonderful legacy, following “The Fighter” and “Silver Linings Playbook,” not only continuing to show his resiliency but his range and ability to dominate more than one genre, remaining versatile and memorable.

RELEASE DATE
December 13, 2013

DIRECTOR
David O. Russell

WRITTEN BY
David O. Russell
Eric Warren Singer

STUDIO
Columbia Pictures
Annapurna Pictures
Sony Pictures Releasing

R
(for pervasive language, some sexual content and brief violence)

CRIME
DRAMA

138 minutes

CINEMATOGRAPHER
Linus Sandgren

COMPOSER
Danny Elfman

EDITOR
Jay Cassidy
Crispin Struthers
Alan Baumgarten

CAST
Christian Bale
Bradley Cooper
Amy Adams
Jeremy Renner
Jennifer Lawrence
Louis C.K.
Jack Huston
Michael Peña
Shea Whigham
Alessandro Nivola

PRODUCED BY
Charles Roven
Richard Suckle
Megan Ellison
Jonathan Gordon

BUDGET
$40 million

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