AMERICAN HUSTLE – Is Hollywood Hustling You?

By on 23 December, 2013

AMERICAN HUSTLE (2013) - Film Review. TOMORROW'S NEWS - The Latest Entertainment News Today!

Is the phenomenal cast and hype of ‘AMERICAN HUSTLE‘ too good to be true? As a viewer, will you be the victim of a top rate Hollywood scam?

The Cast of ‘AMERICAN HUSTLE‘ includes:

Christian Bale…. Irving Rosenfeld
Bradley Cooper…. Richie DiMaso
Amy Adams…. Sydney Prosser
Jeremy Renner…. Mayor Carmino Polito
Jennifer Lawrence…. Rosalyn Rosenfeld

The adverts and hype surrounding this film made my anticipation level high. It is nominated for seven Golden Globes. Further, the co-writer and director is David O. Russell (‘SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK‘), and the movie reunites the dynamic screen duo- Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper. Hollywood is buzzzzzing with Oscar talk for this picture. Me? I’m not so sure.

The film is very loosely based on the FBI’s Abscam scandal which took place in the 70’s. It begins with the words, “Some of this stuff actually happened” appearing on-screen. Next, we see Irving Rosenfeld (Christian Bale) haphazardly gluing several mounds of artificial hair to his bald head. I wondered if I was supposed to laugh, but the scene’s mood dictates a level of seriousness.

It’s a feeling I had throughout the movie. All the adverts leading up to the film’s release depicted an intense, seductive drama about American con artists. Yet, recently the promotional material shifted and started showcasing its nominations, in particular for Best Comedy.

The only times I came remotely close to a giggle in this movie was during the over acted scenes, but I’ll get to that later. I left the cinema puzzled and then investigated when I got home. Apparently, the Hollywood Foreign Press changed the distinction of ‘AMERICAN HUSTLE‘ from a drama to a comedy, unanimously. Why?

Is it because the actors’ accents are so inconsistent, they become funny? Is it because the characters are each such a moral mess that their emotional peaks and dips are so extreme that the actors are forced in to a realm of farcical performances?

Jennifer Lawrence and Amy Adams in American Hustle - Movie Review
Perhaps the joke is that the only thing which doesn’t hustle is the pace of the plot? It depicts a story of two con-artists who are busted by an overzealous FBI agent and then forced to participate in an investigation to bring down political figures. While I enjoyed the twists that surface due to the untrustworthy, unpredictable nature of all the characters, I wanted more movement in the first hour, or at least scenes with Jennifer Lawrence. She is only featured in a handful of scenes, albeit powerful scenes. I had assumed with the flood of attention on her performance that she would have more screen time.

The one line of the movie that actually did make me smirk is delivered by an A-list actor, who is omitted from the credits. I won’t reveal his name here and ruin De surprise, but in his scene he says, “I’m a ghost. Nobody knows I’m here.” The irony!

Amy Adams, Christian Bale and Bradley Cooper in AMERICAN HUSTLE - Film Review
Christian Bale proves once again that he’ll physically transform himself in to any dimension, and Bradley Cooper fights pretty obviously for an Academy Award. It’s too bad there isn’t one for Best Booty Shake because Cooper would win, no contest. I wish the director had let the disco scene with Cooper and Amy Adams shaking it on the dance floor run about 5 minutes longer. The man can dance!

I can’t wait to hear your feedback, if you choose to see ‘AMERICAN HUSTLE‘. Will you agree with the Hollywood Foreign Press? Please leave comments below so we can discuss!



About Melanie Todd

Melanie Todd has lived in Florida, New York and London. She has experience with NBC News and Universal Studios. Currently, she is in the US preparing for a move back to London, where she hopes to work in entertainment publicity/public relations. Melanie enjoys running and drinking wine, but of course, not at the same time. Follow her on TWITTER @MelanieTheRep and visit her blog at


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