I’ll be honest and say that I went into this movie with very low expectations. I find David O’Russell to be one of those over-hyped directors that just doesn’t do anything for me. I found The Fighter an annoying affair and was let down by the hype surrounding Silver Linings Playbook. The trailers and posters for American Hustle had a strong scent of pretension around it, and once again the hype started building and building by my fellow cinephiles.
But it won me over. I got caught up in the plot of a con man being forced to work for the FBI, and also got caught up in the romance between him and his con artist girlfriend (although I was admittedly less interested in that aspect). There were parts of the story which didn’t work, like the gangster aspect, but I did like the way it all wrapped up.
The real star of American Hustle however is the performances. Christian Bale is great in the lead and does a great job of making you like him even despite is smiley criminal nature. Bradley Cooper and Amy Adams are also spot on (though the whole thing with Adam’s character and her British accent was lame). But the highlight was the supporting performance of Jennifer Lawrence, the “it girl” of present day Hollywood. Even though it was slightly over the top, she lit up every scene she was in and made you anticipate her next appearance.
American Hustle ended up being rather fun. It has less of the O’Russell quirks (like Cooper’s character with his mother) than his other films. For some this will be a plus, others a minus. For me its a plus. Some parts in the story go no where (again, like the gangster idea) and sometimes they dwell too much on the troubled romance, but otherwise an enjoyable film.