American Hustle includes moments of comedy, thrill and drama in a film about corruption, business and friendship. But, it's isn't O'Russell's best, nor one of my favorites. I'll explain why.
David O. Russell brings to life the story of Irving Rosenfield (Christian Bale), a con man and his seductive British partner Sydney Prosser (Amy Adams), who are forced to work for a wild FBI agent, Richie DiMaso (Bradley Cooper). DiMaso helps them to pull off the greatest american hustle in history.
I think the premise is pretty interesting. Movies about corruption always have lots to offer. They have lots of potential because there is always so much going on. The best films with this theme are those that have smart writing and great character development. This is because you aren't bored by the dialogue, and you know your characters enough that you begin to sympathize with them and further connect with the film.
The casting for this film was brilliant. I thought every actor showed sides of themselves that I at least have never seen before. After watching this film, if you decide to see it, take a second and look at Bradley Cooper. Look at his career as an actor. Look at him from his supporting roles in movies like Wedding Crashers and Yes Man, to his leading roles in The Hangover and The Place Beyond The Pines and ultimately American Hustle. We have seen Bradley Cooper do a wide variety of roles and I believe in this film, he's gotten a part of most of the characters he's played, and brings these elements together into his character in American Hustle. I feel like he has grown as an actor, and is a pleasure to watch on screen. He can not only make an audience laugh, but he can also scare an audience. I enjoyed his portrayal of Richie DiMaso. I was entertained and scared. He played with character with conviction, committed all the way through.
Aside from Bradley Cooper, I enjoyed Amy Adams and Jennifer Lawrence. Out of the two, I believe that Amy Adams was most deserving of her nomination. She played a character with two battling personalities. I enjoyed her chemistry with her supporting actors. She was very entertaining. I think Jennifer Lawrence had a good role, but I wish she had more screen time. Christian Bale was entertaining as well. His portrayal of Irving Rosenfield was very different from anything I've seen him in before, and I enjoyed that.
The writing was interesting in ways, but I thought it also got a bit boring at times. Additionally, I was very confused at how the plot was unfolding throughout the film. I thought there was no clear explanation at the characters' overall objectives. You have to infer what the characters' motives are, and although that is successful in ways, a little explanation is still needed. I don't think all characters were given equal screen time, and there were not enough conflicts to keep the plot going.
Visually, the film was very nice. I loved the different costumes of every character, and I think that the characters' personalities were truly shown through what they wore. The costumes did what the writing didn't entirely, and that is distinguishing each and every characters' traits and attributes. The color in the film had very nice contrasts. There were bright colors and dark colors, all of which provided different meanings. I thought the skeleton of the film was very laid back. In one scene, Irving is out to dinner with the mayor (Jeremy Renner) and their wives. The entire scene is shot in a very playful way, allowing the audience to have fun with what they're watching. The music choices were comedic in ways, as well as very mysterious.
As a whole, I didn't entirely enjoy American Hustle. If I have to look up a movie after seeing it, that isn't a good thing. The writing was very confusing at times, although the performances made up for the flaws. The music was nice, and visually the film wasn't all that familiar. David O. Russell is very talented with sound cues, as also seen in Silver Linings Playbook. He is also compared to Martin Scorcese in a way. I don't agree, because I think that film is a mix of everyone's talents in a way.
See American Hustle simply for the performances, you might just enjoy it.