Thursday, 6 February 2014

Film Club - American Hustle

So in the spirit of Oscar-nods season, I've started to work through the contenders. First out, it's all about the costumes, hustle and some extraordinary character interpretations.  

Personally I have been rather excited for American Hustle for a while now, both due to my (and the rest of the world's) slight girl-crush on miss Lawrence and general love for David O. Russel's films (Silver Linings Playbook and The Fighter in particular). On a little side note, Russel's credits includes Producing on the original Anchorman. How can you not be looking forward to whatever this guy does next!

The film is based off an original screenplay penned by Russel and Eric Warren Singer. It follows a fifty pound heavier and distinctly un-Batmanned comb-overed Christian Bale, a british accented and wearer of some impressive belly-button-length cleavage Amy Adams, a completely and utterly (yet somehow lovably) mental Jennifer Lawrence, a hyper and hilarious but frustratingly overly-keen agent Bradley Cooper. Featuring a good-hearted-but-using-slightly-questionable-methods and with some incredibly gelled hair Jeremy Renner. 

Bale (Irvin) and Adam's (Sydney) characters get caught mid-con and are offered lenient sentences in exchange for cooperation with the FBI, where Cooper's agent has his eyes set on catching bigger fish by utilising the duo's hustling ways. 

Originally Singer's script landed at number eight on the 2010 black list of un-produced screenplays, under the title 'American Bullshit'. Initially with Ben Affleck in mind (which I could definitely have seen working well, although with a slightly different take on the theme) the script was eventually paired with Russel who re-wrote the entire thing. The original characters were turned into more extreme almost caricatured versions of themselves working well for the style of the film (naturally). 

It's a great ensemble and the whole film has that O. Russel feel to it; a mix of gritty reality, slight madness, and some moral dilemma thrown in without too much of the cheese. 

With a heavy focus on improv scenes and character interactions the film delivers an interesting story fuelled by a strong cast. Flawed and slightly mental, sharp, funny and unpredictable. All those traits you loved in Silver Lining but with a bit less heartfelt-ness and a wardrobe that adds to that larger than real life vibe. 

It's already brought home three Golden Globes, the SAG award for outstanding performance by a cast, and has received 10 BAFTA and Oscar nods (watch this space). Personally I can definitely see Adams and Lawrence striking gold with their performances, however they are facing some tough competition this year so it is by no means an easy win. 

All in all it was enjoyable and I would strongly recommend a watch. Not on the level of Silver Linings brilliance but nonetheless a hilarious and witty film that will hold your attention throughout. Four out of five kittens I say. 


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