Based on a true story, American Hustle is the latest directorial effort from David O. Russell. Christian Bale stars as Irving Rosenfeld, a con man who is forced, along with his partner, Sydney Prosser (Amy Adams), to work for FBI agent Richie DiMaso (Bradley Cooper). Jennifer Lawrence, Jeremy Renner, and Louis C.K. are all featured in this story about lying and betrayal.
Each member of the ensemble pulls off a brilliant performance in this drama. Christian Bale, who is known for transforming his body to play a role, gained more than 40 pounds to play the center con artist obsessed with his combover. Amy Adams is great, and Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence steal every scene they’re in.
For the most part, the script is good. The dialogue is fantastic and the pacing is quick. The film is a bit unbalanced, however. There’s a certain lack of focus that holds the film back.
David O. Russell’s style certainly comes through here. While I don’t think it was as strong as his last film, Silver Linings Playbook (2012), American Hustle is a fascinating watch. Although it didn’t elicit as much of an emotional response as I thought it could have, American Hustle is still a very good movie. 9/10.