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American Hustle (2013)

American Hustle (2013)

aka American Hustle

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poor editing bogs down otherwise good movie

American Hustle was pretty good, but should have been so much better than it was. If it had been directed like Russell’s last feature, Silver Linings Playbook, it would have been incredible. Russell has assembled the kind of ensemble other directors only dream of (the five leads have between them two Oscars and eight more nominations). What he should do is just thrust them in a scene and let them go to town – and when he does this, the 5-star film this should have been shines through.

Unfortunately, Russell has done a very wonky job editing this film. Instead of showing these characters go toe-to-toe, he has all the characters narrate through voiceover what happened. Come, rule #1 of story-telling: Show, Don’t Tell! If I wanted an audiobook of the story, I wouldn’t have paid $10 to see a movie.

Also, this movie just felt so LONG! It is incredibly long (almost 2:20 hours), but it feels even longer than that. Pretty much halfway in, I started feeling really restless (and I’m...(more)

American Hustle was pretty good, but should have been so much better than it was. If it had been directed like Russell’s last feature, Silver Linings Playbook, it would have been incredible. Russell has assembled the kind of ensemble other directors only dream of (the five leads have between them two Oscars and eight more nominations). What he should do is just thrust them in a scene and let them go to town – and when he does this, the 5-star film this should have been shines through.

Unfortunately, Russell has done a very wonky job editing this film. Instead of showing these characters go toe-to-toe, he has all the characters narrate through voiceover what happened. Come, rule #1 of story-telling: Show, Don’t Tell! If I wanted an audiobook of the story, I wouldn’t have paid $10 to see a movie.

Also, this movie just felt so LONG! It is incredibly long (almost 2:20 hours), but it feels even longer than that. Pretty much halfway in, I started feeling really restless (and I’m a very patient moviegoer; had no trouble sitting through Lincoln). And it was this long despite just narrating important parts of the story! I honestly feel like this should have been a miniseries three or four hours long, to do the story justice and give the audience a much-needed break.

That said, when Russell stands back and lets the actors do their thing, this movie is great. The entire cast is fantastic (duh), and Amy Adams’s character is one of the most sensual I’ve ever seen in a movie. But the standout for me was Jennifer Lawrence – every single scene she was in, she just lit up the screen, and I just wanted to see more of her. I think she’s the movie’s best hope come Oscar night. (less)

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Great script, great acting, great camera

This is not the blockbuster "Silver Linings Playbook" was, but it's still a classic. The script feels like a good Tarrantino, against the historic background of the start of casino business in Atlantic City, similar to Scorcese's "Casino", but this one is much less epic, and all the major characters fate changes a lot during the movie. Which only happened in "Pulp Fiction" so far. Character fate changes are much more important than plot changes.
David O. Russel got the better camera, which sleazes over the scenes, moves up and down, and over and back, not like a classic stoic western-schooled Tarrantino, back and forth. A triumph.
Jennifer Lawrence is again the scene stealer overall, but that was expected, she is *the* goddess and the script helps her. A sure lock for the best female supporting actress at the Oscars.
But I was surprised by Christian Bale, who got the harder part to play.
Still, the plot finale leaves out the big drama which would have been needed for the final pusho...(more)

This is not the blockbuster "Silver Linings Playbook" was, but it's still a classic. The script feels like a good Tarrantino, against the historic background of the start of casino business in Atlantic City, similar to Scorcese's "Casino", but this one is much less epic, and all the major characters fate changes a lot during the movie. Which only happened in "Pulp Fiction" so far. Character fate changes are much more important than plot changes.
David O. Russel got the better camera, which sleazes over the scenes, moves up and down, and over and back, not like a classic stoic western-schooled Tarrantino, back and forth. A triumph.
Jennifer Lawrence is again the scene stealer overall, but that was expected, she is *the* goddess and the script helps her. A sure lock for the best female supporting actress at the Oscars.
But I was surprised by Christian Bale, who got the harder part to play.
Still, the plot finale leaves out the big drama which would have been needed for the final pushover. There's not much in the plot, unfortunately. And forcing it artificially as in "World War Z" would have destroyed it. (less)

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gave

Great acting; no impact

Every year, I go to the movies on Christmas day, and this year American Hustle was my Christmas movie. The cast was excellent, so it was hard to go wrong. Every part was perfectly filled, from DeNiro's cameo, all the way to Bradley Cooper (who I rarely ever like). But the film itself fell flat for me. There were so many characters scheming that it was hard to connect with any of them, or, as an audience member, be a part of their schemes. I watched the entire thing with a sense of disconnect, although I was mostly amused by the characters and impressed by the acting.

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Cast:

Small Richie DiMaso
Small Rosalyn Rosenfeld
Small Marie Weinberg
Small Irving Rosenfeld
Small Sydney Prosser
Small Carmine Polito
Small Victor Tellegio
Small Paco Hernandez
No_movie_poster Pete Musane
Small Stoddard Thorsen
Small Anthony Amado
Small
No_movie_poster Alfonse Simone
No_movie_poster Alfonse Simone
Small Dolly Polito
Small Carl Elway
Small Sheik Abdullah

Crew:

Small David O. Russell Director
No_movie_poster Megan Ellison Production
No_movie_poster Charles Roven Production
No_movie_poster Richard Suckle Production
Small David O. Russell Writer
No_movie_poster Eric Singer Writer
No_movie_poster Kevin Tent Editing
No_movie_poster Jay Cassidy Editing
Small David O. Russell Directing
Small David O. Russell Writing
No_movie_poster Eric Singer Writing

Plot:

Release Dates:

theatrical : 2013-12-25 : India

Theatrical : 2013-12-13 : United States of America

Theatrical : 2013-12-20 : United States of America

Theatrical : 2013-12-12 : Australia