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The con is on when scam artists and lovers Irving Rosenfeld (Christian Bale) and Sydney Prosser (Amy Adams) are entrapped by ambitious FBI agent Richie DiMaso (Bradley Cooper) and coerced into participating in a major sting operation which hinges on snaring politician Carmine Polito (Jeremy Renner) and his associates. Complicating matters is Irving’s wife Rosalyn (Jennifer Lawrence), who could bring the whole operation crashing down around them all. From the director of Silver Linings Playbook and The Fighter, AMERICAN HUSTLE is outrageously entertaining and one of the most acclaimed films of the year.
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"Abscam--sometimes written ABSCAM--was a Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) sting operation run from the Bureau's Hauppauge, Long Island, office in the late 1970s and early '80s. The operation initially targeted trafficking in stolen property but was converted to a public corruption investigation. The FBI, aided by a convicted con-man, videotaped politicians as they were offered bribes by a fictional Middle Eastern sheik in return for various political favors. The investigation ultimately led to the conviction of a United States Senator, six members of the United States House of Representatives, one member of the New Jersey State Senate, members of the Philadelphia City Council, the Mayor of Camden, New Jersey, and an inspector for the United States Immigration and Naturalization Service." Wiki
Now we see how this entire affair went down, and what we have is a film with superb characters and acting. Christian Bale is the epitome of the com man, and with his intelligence, Amy Adams, good looks and brain, we have one heck of a scam. The FBI enters with Bradley Cooper as the leader of a group,looking for a couple of good arrests for a fame hungry leader. Jennifer Lawerence as Bale's wife knocks the ball out of the park with her role. Jeremy Renner as the mayor of a New Jersey city, always on the make for his city brings truth and life to his role. Every one in this film out did themselves, believable and so ironic. Can a con man con those in the law? Robert DeNiro plays the second in command of a Florida branch of the Mafia. The hair,and I am not talking about Amy Adams, is so awesome. The clothes of the time, the cars, the homes all a remembrance of things past.
This film was one of the better of the season. If not for 12 Years A Slave,this film would have found the Oscar. Kudos to all.
Recommended. prisrob 03-18-14
Once it clicked, I found the movie to be very funny, and I will probably watch it again, because I am sure I missed a lot. There are a lot of sight gags which go by very quickly, but which mesh almost perfectly with the dialogue. Some of the jokes are so subtle that I found myself laughing at things, and the questioning whether they were actually supposed to be jokes. I think that is part of what makes the movie clever though - It is like a Wes Anderson comedy, but vastly more subtle and "mature." One of the scenes in the movie takes a very serious dramatic exchange of dialogue, and overlays it with almost slapstick sight gags to leave the viewer very conflicted about whether to laugh or gasp.
The script is very well executed by all involved. We already know Christian Bale can act, and we finally saw a glimpse of where Jennifer Lawrence is headed with her career. Lawrence's role was written perfectly for her - cautious and minimalist, but poignant nonetheless. Can she really act? It certainly appears so, though I can't help but think that she was at times too reserved in some scenes. This was a movie about big characters with big egos, and Lawrence's character seems to wobble between being bigger than everyone at times, and disappearing into the narrative at other times. I am very excited to see what she does in the near future.
For all the praise for Lawrence, I thought Amy Adams really stole the show. She was sexy, sophisticated, smart and really connected with the viewer. Every line was on-point, and her ability to work massive amounts of context into a 5 word phrase worked perfectly with the deadpan humor. She was the serious counterpoint to Lawrence's fanciful role - not quite the innocent ingenue, but not quite the diabolical con artist, or the ambitious federal agent. She plays the foil between the two, and does so brilliantly.
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