Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Bradley Cooper, Jeremy Renner, Jennifer Lawrence
Directed by David O. Russell
When con-men are the center of a story, who do you believe?
Irving (Bale) has got the audience in his hands. He cons everyone, but he knows when to quit. After conning people with his girl on the side, Sydney (Adams), into paying an expensive fee to get a loan, they finally get busted by the feds.
Richie (Cooper) is trying to work his way up and book the big players for jail time so to get out of trouble Irving agrees to help. Irving and Sydney work with him to make a few busts to avoid punishment. It quickly spins out of control when Richie changes the plan so they can go after New Jersey politicians. Irving’s attention-seeking wife (Lawrence), makes keeping the operation secret a bit of a problem. She causes problems at home and brings it into Irving’s partnership with Richie.
“American Hustle” has a phenomenal cast. The chemistry between everyone is believable. They work off each other to get the audience invested in their operation, whether it will work or not. It’s hard to know who to root for when each character is developed enough to deserve sympathy.
Bale’s interactions with each character shows off how talented he is. His character is unpredictable and known for using people. His confidence in what he does for a living keeps him alive.
Adam’s character is very manipulative. She not only manipulates Irving and Richie but also the audience. It’s hard to tell what her goals are besides looking out for herself.
Cooper’s character is so desperate to prove himself and to be a hero, that the audience sees his true personality. Partnering with con-men only brings out the worst in him.
Lawrence plays an unhinged wife who manipulates her husband into staying with her. To see how Lawrence can go from survivalist Katniss Everdeen (The Hunger Games) to a dependent wife who will do anything to make sure there is a roof over her and her son’s head is impressive.
“American Hustle” is a performance-driven film that leaves the audience with a favorable impression of the talented cast. All of them deserve an Oscar for their acting.