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Saturday, 4 January 2014

Review- American Hustle

Last night I saw 'American Hustle.'

I hadn't known anything about the movie and it was a wonderful surprise.

All of the actors were incredible -
Christian Bale was unrecognisable- how he looked and his "nearly" understated performance was, well, riveting. Jennifer Lawrence was also outstanding, Bale's characters line describing her as the "Picasso of passive-aggressive karate" should go down in cinematic history as the best description of a character ever; Amy Adams was the epitome of scheming ambition; Bradley Cooper played psychosis -and wounded dove- again brilliantly - there really wasn't a weak performance ( De Niro plays his small part better than anything he has done in 20 years).

Every character was played as just a little less clever than they thought - Lawrence's character's observances on life were just amazingly toecurling and Bale's 'I have a plan,' line was delivered confidently with everyone in the cinema knowing they have a pal that has that pretence of confidence and they never really have a plan...

These people just out acted every other actor in Hollywood. This was an ensemble of todays best actors - with De Niro passing on the baton.

The total sweat squeezing, heart pill popping madness of the four "partners in crime" is amazing. Every one if them a sociopath; every one of them believeable and in their world, frustatingly _likeable_... This movie should get oscars oscars oscars- and those for hairstyles alone (on the male characters!).

And not just the four main characters. Every character from the mob through the Mayor to the cops were such studies in shallowness or depth that any writer and actor need to take copious notes.

If I had any criticism, it was about 20 mins too long. But as the french new wave directors used to say, every bon et mot ( whatever that translates to I dont know- but what I mean is nothing was wasted screen time!). This movie doffed its cap to (and in my opinion looked better than) Goodfellas and quite a few other movies set in that era.

Moveover Tarantino (who in my opinion has only made two decent films anyway) and to some extent Scorsese,  David O Russell has just kicked you (and quite a few others) out of the way for best director in a generation! 

As I said, I hadn't known much about the movie before I saw it, and won't spoil it for anyone- but I recommend you go see this before the hype kicks in. Line after line, scene after scene, hairstyle after hairstyle will be shown to death on The One Show and Graham Norton etc.

I give this 4.75 out of 5

Trailer here...


  1. That American Hustle is set in the '70s is the perfect coincidence, for it is a movie that would have fit right into the "New Hollywood" of that era where directors were king, actors went beyond the pale and stories had balls.

  2. Yip - let's say "this story had hormones!"

  3. Yip - let's say "this story had hormones!"


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