Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Movie Review: American Hustle

My rating ★★★½

A con man, Irving Rosenfeld, along with his seductive partner Sydney Prosser, is forced to work for a wild FBI agent, Richie DiMaso, who pushes them into a world of Jersey powerbrokers and mafia.
Loosely based on the FBI ABSCAM operation of the late 1970s and early 1980s, American Hustle deals with elaborate con schemes while showing us the sprawling mess that was the conmen's lives behind the scenes.

I was interested in finding out about Abscam which I recall vaguely noticing at the time it happened as headlines would fly by. I was interested in seeing Christian Bale be someone besides Batman. And, most of all, my husband was interested in seeing this. So we watched it.

As with director David O. Russell's "Silver Linings Playbook," this movie was surprising because it had a layer I did not expect. As it says in the beginning, "some of these things actually happened." Those are the details about Abscam, which are mostly in line with actual events. The insight into the characters in the movie are the screenwriters' contribution.

I enjoyed watching the con build and build and build to a ridiculous level. I enjoyed seeing the characters flail around in reaction to their own desires, while giving little thought to true consequences. And I enjoyed watching it all come tumbling down.

It isn't a "must see" but it was entertaining and informative. The acting was great, especially that of Bradley Cooper. And it added a new truism to our household, "the more you tell people they can't have something, the more they want it."

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