David O. Russell struck gold last year with ‘Silver Linings Playbook’, shortly after first striking gold with ‘The Fighter’ in 2010, and he is back now with ‘American Hustle’. Featuring Russell favourites Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper, Amy Adams and Jennifer Lawrence, the film is set in the late 1970’s during an FBI undercover operation and is based partially on true events.
A quite enjoyable film, ‘American Hustle’ at times seemed to languish in its own storytelling, waiting too long for something to happen on a couple of occasions. Normally, this would not be a bad thing, but there were also instances where the film seemed to be muddled or messy, a clear indication that Russell was trying too hard to make a film to win Oscars.
While that takes away from the film a little bit, what it does not do is take away from the performance set forth by Christian Bale. This is not Batman on screen, but a strong job from one of the most wide ranging actors currently plying their trade in Hollywood today.
Quite possibly the weakest link of the four main actors in the film is last years Oscar winner for Best Actress, Jennifer Lawrence. This may seem like a stretch, but in a film with great acting performances, Lawrence’s felt the most contrived and forced. It almost feels like Russell added more scenes for Lawrence after she won her Oscar last year.
In the end, ‘American Hustle’ is a step down from ‘Silver Linings Playbook’ and may not be worth the insanely high levels of hype that have been bestowed upon it.
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