A fictional film set in the alluring world of one of the most stunning scandals to rock our nation, American Hustle tells the story of brilliant con man Irving Rosenfeld (Christian Bale), who along with his equally cunning and seductive British partner Sydney Prosser (Amy Adams) is forced to work for a wild FBI agent Richie DiMaso (Bradley Cooper). DiMaso pushes them into a world of Jersey powerbrokers and mafia that's as dangerous as it is enchanting. Jeremy Renner is Carmine Polito, the passionate, volatile, New Jersey political operator caught between the con-artists and Feds. Irving's unpredictable wife Rosalyn (Jennifer Lawrence) could be the one to pull the thread that brings the entire world crashing down. Like David O. Russell's previous films, American Hustle defies genre, hinging on raw emotion, and life and death stakes.
My husband had a chance to attend a screening, and here is his review:
American Hustle, a whirlwind of a story set in the late 70s, focuses on Irving (Christian Bale) and Sydney (Amy Adams), a couple of con artists who are very good at scamming desperate people in need of loans. They are in love with each other, even despite the fact that Irving is married to Rosalyn (Jennifer Lawrence) and just adopted her son.
But their hustle is interrupted when they are busted by FBI agent Richie DiMaso (Bradley Cooper). DiMaso cuts them a deal in which they must help him take down some high profile politicians who are willing to do favors in exchange for cash. One of the politicians they target is Carmine Polito (Jeremy Renner), who is the most ethical person in the movie. The two con artists, along with the overly ambitious DiMaso, involve the mob and a fake sheik in the borderline entrapment plan that is based on the real-life Abscam sting operation.
The cast list is impressive, and it doesn’t even include the legendary, uncredited actor who portrays the mob boss.
All of the actors lived up to their lofty reputations, but I thought that the two female stars, Adams and Lawrence, both shined through. They both played complex, troubled women who wanted more out of the life and love that they had. When they finally meet on screen, near the movie's climax, it’s truly a pleasure to watch.
I enjoyed watching American Hustle. I suppose I can see how the Golden Globes put it in the Comedy/Musical category – it does produce a lot of laughs, including a fun Jennifer Lawrence sing-along to "Live and Let Die" (one of the many classic songs on the killer soundtrack), but it was the intriguing story and the superb acting that did it for me.
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