directed by David O Russell
David O Russell films are delectable treats for both the casual movie watcher and the cinephile. Wild, zesty, spitfire treats that overflow with the magic of filmic storytelling in an exhilaratingly idiosyncratic way. And like many of his other great works, American Hustle finds its stride in telling the story of opportunists and truth adverse survivalists all clamoring for their own personal sense of vindication. For some of these characters, it’s about redemption, but for others it’s just about the hustle. American Hustle may not be much more than a collection of spectacular scenes, but oh, what scenes they are! Sumptuously decorated, intoxicatingly, head spinningly scripted and aggravatingly well acted, these scenes celebrate the sheer joy of filmmaking, the pure elation that film can evoke. To try and credit each electrifying performance by a dizzying ensemble cast would be folly, but Amy Adams, Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper, Jeremy Renner and Christian Bale are just a few of the names on the list of dazzlers. A special shout out to the comedic genius (hell, genius genius) of Louis C K (you Swedes better be taking Nobel notes concerning Mr C K), a man so full of talent that it has become nearly imperceptible to the naked eye. Forgive me for getting lost in the revelry of such a fun film, but as for due diligence… American Hustle is a fictionalized version of the notorious Abscam sting that brought down several political figures during the age of disco, but Russell is more concerned with the art of the con as a personality trait, a characteristic, a skill. One might argue that Mr Russell is also concerned with plunging necklines (Ms Adams, Mr Cooper, I’m looking at you), but American Hustle is a hell of a movie that proves too true Mae West’s famous quote, that too much of a good thing is a wonderful.