Monday, December 23, 2013

American Hustle (USA, 2013)

Nine Things About the Movie American Hustle

1. This is a masterful film of American ambition woven into a gorgeous tapestry of 1970’s style, fashion and music.

2. It is about ego, honor, self-improvement, and the necessity to re-invent oneself in order to make it in this dog-eat-dog world.

3. The story centers on Christian Bale, who plays a petty con artist named Irving. The movie starts off by detailing Irving’s criminal career and his reluctant involvement with federal law enforcement.

4. Irving is also having problems at home, which leads him to fall for his partner in crime. While Irving wants to keep his professional and personal lives separate, they inevitably end up on a collision course with each other, and Irving ends up playing for much higher stakes than he ever wanted to.

5. For all the sleaziness of the story and characters, the movie has no nudity or blood. This is storytelling magic that doesn’t rely on sex or violence to keep you interested.

6. This means that people who need sex and violence in their movies will likely be kind of bored.

7. Everything in the movie, from the fashion, to the hairstyles, to the story, to the actor’s performances, are slightly exaggerated, just a little bit larger than life. Not enough to turn into a caricature, but just enough to make everything seem to vibrate. The fact that the actors can actually pull this all off is amazing – the acting is uniformly brilliant, and there are no weak links in the cast.

8. The movie takes the old American concept of being a self-made man and cranking it up a notch. The characters are always looking out for themselves, and soon nobody knows who is on what side… or if there are even any sides at all.

9. This is a movie not only about how we fool each other, but how we lie to ourselves, which is the biggest con of all.