American Hustle

American Hustle Review

Directed by David O. Russell

Written by…..Eric Singer and David O. Russell

Christian Bale … Irving Rosenfeld
Bradley Cooper … Richie DiMaso
Amy Adams … Sydney Prosser
Jeremy Renner … Mayor Carmine Polito
Jennifer Lawrence … Rosalyn Rosenfeld
Louis C.K. … Stoddard Thorsen
Jack Huston … Pete Musane
Michael Peña … Paco Hernandez / Sheik Abdullah

Aspect Ratio 2.35 : 1
Camera Arricam LT, Canon K35 and Zeiss Standard Speed Lenses
Arricam ST, Canon K35 and Zeiss Standard Speed Lenses
Laboratory DeLuxe
EFILM Digital Laboratories, Hollywood (CA), USA (digital intermediate)



Lane J. Lubell


David O. Russell opens the film with a title card that reads, “Some of this may have happened”. The film is very loosely based on the events, and people leading up to the “ABSCAM” a large government sting operation that trapped several major politicians taking bribes in an attempt to bring a large investment from a dubious sources to revitalize gambling in Atlantic City. Russell is not interested in telling that story, but rather using versions of those involved as vessels to be tell his own story. It is the times and the interaction between his leads, that is of interest to him.We meet Irving Rosenfeld (Christian Bale) who is a small time hustler, who makes money by charging a large up-front fee, and promising desperate people he will be able to get them a loan for a some 10 times as large. It is pretty clear that even if he did line these clients up with a loan, it is unlikely they would be able to pay it back. It is when he falls for, and teams up with Sydney Prosser (Amy Adams)a beautiful woman with a fake British accent and equally false ties to British society, that his plans move to the next level of success. After they get caught by an over zealous FBI agent, Richie DiMaso (Bradley Cooper), they are forced to be used to catch “Bigger fish.” DiMaso is driven by ambition rather than any desire to end corruption. In fact the film portrays those caught in the sting more warmly than the many in the FBI.

It is quickly understood, that the local hero politician Carmine Polito (Jeremy Renner) while willing to get his hands a bit dirty, truly cares about the welfare of the people in his town. This is a guy that knows how the game is played, but even when doing the wrong things, he seems to be doing them for the right reasons. Pushed by Richie, Carmine becomes the target of Rosenfield, even as we watch rosenfield become actual friends, and feel increasingly bad over the role he’s playing. What Carmine and Rosenfield both realize is the dangerous combination of mixing big money, Jersey politicians and mafia together. As viewers we are aware just how perilous events have become; which makes the comical reckless actions of Irving’s wife Rosalyn (Jennifer Lawrence) even more fun to watch. She is like the person in a cartoon that keeps smoking in a room full of dynamite, but she also seems to have the luck of an animated character. Once again, she steals every scene she’s in, the better the cast, the more she shines.

The film has a few twists, none of which I’m going to mention, let me just say that movies are as good as their weakest link, and there are no weak links in American Hustle.

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