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American Hustle: Review

American Hustle: Review

Starring: Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper, Jeremy Renner, Robert DeNiro (Rated M – 138 min).

Don’t arrive late for this near perfect movie! During the opening stanza, there is lots of dubious ground to cover through voiceover and flashbacks extremely reminiscent of the 1991 classic Goodfellas.

Far and away from his gravelly voiced Dark Knight persona, Christian Bale is first seen as pot-bellied con-man Irving Rosenfeld quite frustratingly gluing a toupee on his head. He tormentingly calls his alcoholic wife the Picasso of passive-aggressive. However, Irving’s biggest problem is the FBI who has busted them scamming in the past and now want to use their criminal knowledge to catch bigger fish in the business of illegal hustlers. Jennifer Lawrence is brilliant, again acting beyond her years as the suffering shut in wife. Hunger Games fans may be disgusted by an abundance of particularly brilliant sarcastic drunk scenes. Their main target is corrupt and highly unconventional Mayor Carmine (Jeremy Renner). His skimming a percentage of money going into Atlantic City casinos upsets not only mobsters, but fellow congressmen and senators who don’t appreciate losing free money from their secret slush fund.

Excessive underworld activity is just what the FBI need to pinpoint but they cannot strike until key players slip-up, a rare thing in such a controlled organisation. The retro years of the 1970s are well represented not only by solid gold chartbusters but in an array of evocative outfits that literally go all-out. Adulteress Sydney Presser played by Amy Adams has remarkable cleavage worthy of their own postcode.

It’s difficult not to pay attention to the hair too. Mayor Carbine has a phenomenal bouffant, while Bradley Cooper as Agent Richie DiMaso works the room sporting ringlet jerry curls. The script is so good it forces the viewer to second guess every character constantly juggling multiple personalities, adapting to stay afloat in life threatening or exposed situations. With award season on the horizon, I guarantee this will be a multiple nominee. Director David O’Russell backs up the inventiveness of his ‘Silver Linings Playbook’ with another obscure, hilarious, self absorbed, cautionary tale not to be missed. Engrossing cinema!

Shane A. Bassett

Sydney Unleashed is one of Australia’s premier entertainment publications exploring the latest in lifestyle trends. From Sydney’s finest restaurants, cafes and bars to the hottest in gadgets, products, and home entertainment, Sydney Unleashed is your one-stop lifestyle platform.