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Here is my favorite movie of the year, American 'fucking' hustle! Why? Not only does if have great performances from an outstanding cast, not only is the direction, as well as the cinematography perfectly capture the look and tone of the 1970's, props goes to the production design, lighting, and make-up; but in my opinion, this is the funniest, sharpest, and most entertaining movie I have seen this year. The star of this film is really the bloody screenplay, arguably some of the cleverest, sharpest, most well timed dialogue I have heard all year. This movie can be summed up as David O. Russell's comedic love letter to Martin Scorsese's Goodfellas and Casino, except does it his own way.
Much like The Wolf of Wall Street, American Hustle takes what could've been a dead serious Heist/Cop drama, and instead just looks at the absurdity of the subject matter, and just runs with it. The movies starts with the amusing subtitle, "Some of this Actually Happened", as the story follows two romantically involved con artist, played by Christian Bale and Amy Adams, who are busted by FBI agent Richie DiMaso, played by Bradley Cooper, who offers the two immunity, and to avoid jail time if they help him and the FBI with an undercover sting operation to take down powerful political figures, while at the same time, driving Bale and Adams apart when Cooper develops feelings for Adam's. Along the way we come across Jeremy Renner who plays the good hearted Mayor Carmine Polito, and Bales unstable and eccentric wife Rosalyn, played by Jennifer Lawrence, who he refuses to leave due to his attachment, and love for his adopted son.
Though some people might consider the film to be a mess due to the occasionally changing character motivations and at times direction of the film, I think the scene where Christian Bale's character accuses Bradley Cooper of changing the rules, getting a little power-drunk, and that he's starting to get way over his head with the entire operation, sums up the movie in a nut shell. Actually, that's ultimately what American Hustle is all about; Characters who get in way too deep with there bullshit, and we see whether or not they can get out of the mess they've put themselves in, even with there own life's. Everyone at some point double-crossing each other, using each other to their own benefits, and eventually at one point or another, getting way over their heads, especially with Bradley Cooper's character, who increasingly becomes more power hungry, and at times, borderline insane.
Outstanding performances from the whole cast, favorites include Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper, and a hilarious, and scene stealing performance from Jennifer Lawrence. I simply cannot recommend this movie enough; it's my favorite film from 2013.