Daniel’s Review (16/12/2013):
I didn’t love ‘American Hustle’, but hear me out on this, I did enjoy this movie, every now and then, as I thought it was a good movie, just not a great or a spectacular one.
There are so many things right in this movie, it is unbelievable.
The cast is spot-on, even the supporting characters are just as great and shine just as brighter as the main cast. The talent is impeccable. Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence are easily the highlight of the cast and are just amazing in their roles, and the feuds and relationships between these four characters at times are funny and full of intense drama that felt believable and real.
There are some surprise little cameos from other big stars, that I won’t say because it makes the film just a bit more enjoyable.
Oh and I must give credit to Jeremy Renner, although not as good as the other four main cast, his character was probably one of my favourites being this good and hearted mayor of New Jersey.
The direction is great by David O. Russell who also directed this year’s greatly and superbly crafted film ‘Silver Linings Playbook’.
The cinematography is one of the best this year.
What falls a bit is the script in my honest opinion and also the editing. There is just too much written into this movie I think that the film can handle. I think this film has a nice story and a message, although I do think it gets lost in translation by the film’s long running time, and I also think the pacing on this film isn’t as enjoyable as the characters are great to watch, I do think it is just a bit longer than it may needed to be as I did get a tad bit bored while watching this film.
Not to say this film isn’t enjoyable, it is. It is hilarious at most times and the way the characters interact with each other is perfect as they incorporate drama and witty dialogue into one scene perfectly.
Overall, it is still an enjoyable film and the best acted film by the whole cast this whole year, I say give it a go, you may like it more than I did, as it is an enjoyable and hilarious movie with some great drama.
Nic’s Review (16/12/2013):
‘Silver Linings Playbook’ is my favourite film of the year, so I was curious to see how similar David O. Russell’s directorial follow-up would be.
As it turns out ‘American Hustle’ is another cinematic masterpiece yet in an entirely different way to ‘Silver Linings’. Whereas ‘Linings’ was a relatively pure and simple story about redemption and hope, ‘Hustle’ is unashamedly about corruption and betrayal with very few silver linings in sight.
It is also incredibly complex, unafraid to mess with linearity, plot twists and flashbacks. In this way perhaps it is superior to ‘Linings’; it portrays more realistic, shady characters who prioritise greed over friendship or love. But the argument could also be made the other way, that ‘Hustle’s complexity overshadows its characterization when compared to ‘Linings’. These aren’t criticisms but rather different perspectives on how plot should affect character. It’s outside of the themes and plot though, that, like ‘Linings’,‘Hustle’ shines.
The writing is witty and original and the dialogue alone is what elevates the film to the gem it is, oozing with subtext and character. It works even better thanks to the magnificent acting of its stellar cast, especially Jennifer Lawrence, who steals the spotlight whenever she is onscreen.
Music is used to brilliant effect, and really brings the 70s setting to life. And the cinematography; I could go on about it all day. The camera is used as originally and playfully as the dialogue and some shots are nothing short of inspirational.
‘American Hustle’ may still fall short of ‘Silver Linings Playbook’ in terms of rewatchability, as it is a little longer and slower-paced but that’s not going to stop me scoring it any lower.
In the space of a year David O. Russell has become one of my favourite directors in Hollywood. I can’t wait to see what he brings us next.