Partly based on a true story, “American Hustle” tells the story of a professional conman and woman and the love they share. The only problems the pair have to worry about are the previously mentioned conman’s wildcard of a wife, an overzealous FBI agent, and the mafia. This all sounds like drama one may encounter in present-based films, but rest assured, one of the things that makes “American Hustle” such a hit is that it takes place in the 1970s. Although I would have liked to see more 70s’ lingo, outfits, and hairstyles, the overall vibe of the 70s quickly made up for it.
“American Hustle” stars an ensemble cast of many accomplished actors and actresses. Former caped crusader Christian Bale takes on the leading male role, originally penned for Bradley Cooper, as conman Irving Rosenfeld. Starring opposite to Bale is “Man of Steel” star Amy Adams as con-woman and lover to Rosenfeld, Sydney Prosser and Lady Edith Greensly, her con woman alter ego from England. “The Hangover”’s Bradley Cooper plays unhinged FBI agent Richard “Richie” DiMaso, the role originally intended for Bale. Irving’s wife and “the biggest conman of them all,” Rosalyn Rosenfeld, is played by Jennifer Lawrence (“The Hunger Games”). Rounding out the cast is Jeremy Renner (“The Avengers”) as Mayor Carmine Polito. The star-filled cast does not stop there; we also see funnyman Louis C.K. and mobster legend Robert De Niro, amongst others, in this star-packed comedy.
As award season kicks into full gear, “American Hustle” is already coming out a winner. At the Golden Globes, “American Hustle” took home three golden globes: best picture in a musical or comedy, Jennifer Lawrence snagged supporting actress and Amy Adams won best lead actress in a musical or comedy. Bale and Cooper were also nominated at the Globes but were beat out by Leonardo DiCaprio (“The Wolf of Wall Street”) and Jared Leto (“Dallas Buyers Club”).
With the Academy Awards quickly approaching, “American Hustle” is nominated in a whopping nine categories. The categories include best picture, director, lead actor and actress, supporting actor and actress, costume design, film editing, production design, and original screenplay.
Altogether, “American Hustle” is a film that appeals to the masses and has a little something for everyone. Whether you like unorthodox love stories, mobster movies, criminal procedurals, or con/heist movies, “American Hustle” has it all. If, like me, you plan on making an effort to see most, if not all, of the best picture nominees, “American Hustle” is a great place to start.
If you would like to see more from Director David O. Russell, you’re in luck. Last year’s winner “Silver Linings Playbook” is another Russell production. The comedy also features Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper, as well as Robert De Niro.