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David O. Russell has been on winning streak the past few years. His movies The Fighter (2010) and Silver Linings Playbook (2012) have been highly acclaimed successes and were both nominated for Best Picture respectively. And it looks like his latest film, American Hustle is on track to keep this streak alive for 2013.
American Hustle is set in the late 70’s, and tells the story of Irv Rosenfield (Bale) and Sydney Prosser (Adams) who fall in love and become a con artist duo. FBI Agent Richie DiMaso (Cooper) catches them in the act, but offers them a clean slate if they help him arrest a few other con artists. Along they way the new team has run-ins with Mayor of Camden NJ Carmine Polito (Renner), Irv’s unstable wife Rosayln (Lawrence) as well as a group of mobsters. By the time the movie is just about over, you don’t know who’s playing who, and it’s fun to watch how it all plays out.
This is a brilliantly-written story of cat-and-mouse, and the cast members give top-notch performances that I ended up thoroughly enjoying each one of. David O. Russell proves that he’s capable of delivering a great story on-screen, and is starting to become one of my favorite modern directors. I found a lot of great comparisons to Goodfellas from this movie, whether it be the monologue narrations of the characters, the perfect fit of a soundtrack, and even a surprise appearance of a certain mobster.
So far, Hustle has been nominated for 7 Golden Globes, and would not surprise me if a similar number is reached come time for the Academy Awards. Rotten Tomatoes has given the movie a well-deserved 94%, while IMDB rates it a 8.3/10. If you’re looking for a great, entertaining watch for the holiday season, American Hustle is where you’ll find one.
My Reel Rating: 8.5/10
Written by Josh Sazin on December 23rd, 2013