Irving Rosenfeld (Bale) is a small time con man that deals in fake and stolen art as well as a number of other shady bank loan scams with his partner Sydney Prosser (Adams). When the FBI gets them on fraud they’re forced to show them exactly how they pull off the scams and help entrap a number of high profile politicians and mobsters. The biggest problem is FBI agent Richie DiMaso (Cooper) who just wants more every time they get a break and it’s only going to lead to a bad place as the whole operation starts to spiral out of control.”
David O’Russell is on an unbelievable run with his third movie in a row hitting the mark on every level. The common thread in two of his last three movies is the irrepressible Christian Bale who is fast surpassing every other actor in Hollywood. His performance in American Hustle is nothing short of stunning as he subtly develops Irving on screen from what seems like a low life con man to something altogether more interesting. He is doing something that he simply does not want to do in helping the FBI and he is at war with himself but he never really lets anyone see just how damaging it is for him until it starts to unravel. Backing him up is the fantastic Amy Adams with a sensual performance; she will make you believe every move she makes. Bringing his best performance to date Bradley Cooper is brilliant as out of control FBI agent Richie DiMaso who just doesn’t know when enough is enough. Trying his utmost to control him as FBI boss Stodard Thorsen is the brilliant Louis C.K. who simply cannot keep a lid on Richie. Jeremy Renner’s mayor Polito is a man who only wants to help his community and it’s in his willingness to do so that he will grab your imagination because he is such a good person. Rounding off what is undoubtedly the best ensemble cast of the year is the unbelievably talented Jennifer Lawrence as Irving’s wife Rosalyn. She is all at once the dumbest yet funniest element of the movie with her inability to manage her young son and ability to steal every scene she is in. Lawrence gets little screen time but she makes the most of it.
You’d be forgiven for thinking that the performances are the show stealer but in honesty none of them would be able to deliver without such a solid script and such fantastic dialogue. Added to that is a fantastic soundtrack that features some wonderful songs of the era with Paul MCartney’s Live and Let Die making for one of the most memorable moments. This is a fantastically entertaining film and although the ending is slightly, and I say slightly, underwhelming it still delivers and it’s such an enjoyable ride as it spirals out of control with DiMaso’s egomaniacal schemes.
More than just a collection of amazing performances, American Hustle is one of the most entertaining and intelligent movies in years. Go for Christian Bale, laugh at Jennifer Lawrence and revel in Bradley Cooper’s madness. Absolutely brilliant, you won’t be disappointed.