LiveWire Review/American Hustle

LiveWire Film Critic Georgia Buckley reviews American Hustle

David O. Russell’s latest film, American Hustle, most certainly did not disappoint. Set in the 1970s in a time of major political corruption in New Jersey, the film follows the story of a professional con man Irving Rosenfeld (Christian Bale) and his on/off lover Sydney Prosser (Amy Adams), who together run a hoax company claiming to loan money to people in desperate need of it. The scheme is successful until Richie DiMaso (Bradley Cooper), a somewhat unstable FBI agent, exploits them and demands their cooperation to trap the corrupt Mayor of New Jersey Carmine Polito (Jeremy Renner), in return for their freedom. Although following a dark story, comic relief is provided, often coming from the outrageous and chaotic wife of Irv, Rosalyn (Jennifer Lawrence). The film is full of manipulation, unconventional love stories and dark comedy, and this combination of elements has made the film a unique and sensational cinematic viewing.

The Oscar-nominated director’s films seem to be getting better and better with the likes of his previous works The Fighter and Silver Linings Playbook to his name already, this is definitely one of his best yet. Featuring many actors from Russell’s earlier works, the films cast were on fine form with them having had previous experiences of working with one another, even Robert Di Niro took up a small role as gangster Vincent Tellegio and played it effortlessly.  It is stereotypically a Russell picture with much of what we have come to expect from his films being featured, such as his use of dark comedy, swift and seamless camera shots and his typically deranged characters.

The details that have gone into making the film as authentically 1970s as possible is superb and can be seen instantly through the cinematography. We are shown suburban homes and swanky hotels typical of the times, the patterns, the clothing – every detail has been thought out and it is interesting to see the difference when compared to movies in modern day.

While I did find this film a fascinating watch I felt the film was slightly long and I did expect to be more thrilled than I was from such a highly talked about film, with all the hype surrounding it, especially after being nominated for 10 Oscars in total. However, despite this, with the brilliant acting throughout, vibrant camera movement and comical elements, the film was undoubtedly an exciting watch and I would definitely say it is worth going to see!

American Hustle (15) is screening at Cornerhouse until Thur 23 Jan. Book your tickets and watch the trailer here.