The successful director of Silver Linings Playbook and The Fighter David O. Russell gets the phenomenal cast together again in the stylish 70’s drama American Hustle. Christian Bale transforms himself once again, this time gut bulging with an elaborate comb-over. Bale stars as Irving Rosenfeld, a clever con man. He and his attractive business partner Sydney Prosser (Amy Adams) are forced to work for Richie DiMaso (Bradley Cooper). Richie is an ambitious FBI agent who will stop at nothing to gain recognition from his department. Irving’s wife Rosalyn Rosenfeld, played by Jennifer Lawrence adds comic relief to the film, as a stay at home mother that can barley take care of herself.
The film is loosely based on true events and scandals that changed America’s views on politics in the 70’s. I believe David O. Russell did it again with another successful film, bringing an open discussion to topics most directors are shunning away from such as Silver Linings Playbook which openly discusses mental health issues and The Fighter which discusses drug use in America. Russel isn’t looking to provide solutions or social change but is simply talking about subjects that otherwise are pushed under the rug in cinema. David O. Russell raises the question of who are the bad guys? Who should we root for? By slightly poking fun at the governments authority and corruption. After a recent government shut down could we say much has changed from 70’s politics? After all he originally titled the script “American Bullshit.”
The actors amazing performances made it impossible not be caught up in Irving and Sydney’s romance. Amy Adams is a bombshell from her revealing dresses to her seductive fake British accent. Cooper’s performance took him beyond his abilities in his past films, but I believe Jeniffer Lawrence and Bale stole the spotlight. Although, it is a cast that we are all familiar with in Russell’s past films, their performances excel in this film. Russell even throws us some great cameos that I won’t spoil.
The over stylized 70’s look from costume, hair, and sets to even the music seems highly exaggerated, but you can’t help but enjoy. I mean who knows I didn’t live in that era, but the film seemed to glorify it. This could be the filmmakers way to add balance to the film since it’s dealing with the political corruption of that era. I’ve got to say when the film ended, I had forgotten that I’d been sitting in the theatre for two hours. Definitely recommend this film for an overall satisfaction of intrigue and drama.