Thursday, January 2, 2014

“Everything you can imagine is real.”

"Did you ever have to find a way to survive and you knew your choices were bad, but you had to survive?"
-Irving Rosenfeld (American Hustle)

     Aside from having an incredible cast, American Hustle possesses that elusive quality which  draws you into a film allowing you to feel genuinely concerned for characters normally considered sociopaths. Directed by the exceptional David O. Russell (Silver Linings Playbook) and written by Russell and Eric Singer, American Hustle is an edgy fast paced glimpse into the life of small scale con man, Irving Rosenfeld (Christian Bale).  The brilliant Bale is almost unrecognizable as the shifty, overweight, balding yet completely endearing business owner. Rosenfeld's slick seductive partner Sydney Prosser (Amy Adams) becomes entangled with cocky, over confident FBI agent Richie Di Maso (Bradley Cooper) and Rosenfeld's erratic yet alluring wife played by the stunning Jennifer Lawrence. Prosser (Amy Adams) is a chameleon, a true survivor whose strength and adaptability are ice cold and captivating, piercing hearts with phrases like " You're nothing to me until you're everything."

     Set on the US East coast in the late seventies the plot is loosely based on tales of New Jersey crime bosses, mobsters and disco era political corruption. The movie features a savvy musical selection which adds even more depth and vulnerability to complex lives in unpredictable circumstances. The soundtrack includes everything from dance floor Diva Donna Summer, Duke Ellington, ELO to Elton John, Cole Porter, The Bee Gee's to America's " A Horse With No Name."

 Look for appearances by personal favorite, genius writer/director/comedian Louis CK as Bradley Coopers budget conscious FBI boss, Jeremy Renner as the family values pinnacle, soft-hearted Mayor, Carmine Polito and Boardwalk Empire's(HBO drama series) gorgeous Jack Huston as a dashing, smashingly smitten gangster.
      American Hustle is an exercise in honoring and observing our flawed and fragile human ego. It is an engaging cinematic reminder that we are all every day survivor's. We are who we pretend to be. A study of" passive- aggressive karate" at its finest. And who among us isn't made more interesting and remarkable by our imperfections?   American Hustle can be summed up with poignant lines from  Take the Cannoli,  a book by the sincerely astute author, Sarah Vowel.
 “We are flawed creatures, all of us. Some of us think that means we should fix our flaws. But get rid of my flaws and there would be no one left.”   
       Add a few more clever twists, turns and surprises and you will not be disappointed to tell the theater ticket clerk, "Here, take my money!"