American Hustle

*****

Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

American Hustle
"American Hustle blows the cobwebs off every cliche in the crime section of contemporary film"

The H-word, the concept of confidence crime and the introduction of beautiful women implies another angle on the Oceans 11 franchise. In other words, this is a caper movie, high on entertainment and low on credibility.

Wrong, wrong, wrong!

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American Hustle is a quality thriller with rock-your-socks performances and a keep-up-dumbnuts script which, like the best of modern art, does not require 20/20 vision in the comprehension department. Even if you don't understand who's fooling who the characters keep you breathing pure oxygen.

Using a similar narrative devise as Goodfellas, this is Irving Rosenfeld's (Christian Bale) story. He tells you what he's up to, how he's feeling and why scamming off the idle rich and business flakes is a game of thieves.

A passing encounter with Sydney Prosser (Amy Adams) ignites his flagging libido. Not only does she flirt like a teenage dancer, she works with the dedication of a charm school post grad terrorist. And she's in his field of expertise which is why a partnership makes economic sense.

But hold the phone! That's only the start. What about the wife (Jennifer Lawrence) and kid he keeps under wraps? What about the FBI, represented by an obsessive compulsive lunatic (Bradley Cooper) who wants to use their skills to trap the Mob.

David O Russell (Three Kings, Silver Linings Playbook) is not a filmmaker you pull off the peg. He's a bespoke prankster with a unique line in originality.

American Hustle blows the cobwebs off every cliche in the crime section of contemporary film. With writing this good and a seedy story enriched by eccentric goings on the actors give it large and the actresses give it.

A con trick is just a trick, but a con artist is a creative creature. Witness Sydney. Admire her moves.

Reviewed on: 16 Jan 2014
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American Hustle packshot
A con man is forced to work for a rogue FBI agent.
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Anne-Katrin Titze *****

Director: David O Russell

Writer: Eric Singer, David O Russell

Starring: Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Bradley Cooper, Jeremy Renner, Jennifer Lawrence, Alessandro Nivola, Robert De Niro

Year: 2013

Runtime: 138 minutes

BBFC: 15 - Age Restricted

Country: US

Festivals:

BIFF 2014

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