This is an ever-evolving story of a girl writer and her two greatest loves, the movies and travel. As she hikes the trenches of Hollywood, you're brought along for the ride.

Monday, February 3, 2014

American Hustle: A Dizzying Game Of Cat And Mouse

Amy Adams In American Hustle
If there's any message to American Hustle, it's the idea that we're all con men to some degree or another. Whether it's power, money, food, love, or the latest tech gadget, even the most innocent of us will manipulate others to get what we want. It's human nature. When we con someone, we deceive them. We play a part, act a certain way to get exactly what you want. Sometimes, we even con ourselves. A con at its worst is pure betrayal. With those heavy ideas in mind, the fact that David O' Russell was able to put together such a funny and entertaining film is quite an achievement.

His latest, American Hustle, may be splashy and flashy and all around effervescent. Yes, it's a comical drama, a farce, with little splashes of camp thrown in for good measure. It's a throwback to the screwball comedies no one makes anymore. Some have criticized that it's too flamboyant for its own good. That it's glitzy enough to fool even the most savvy audience member, the harshest critic, and the most knowledgeable Academy member. If that's the case then David O'Russell has conned us all.  

In my estimation, it's not a perfect film, but no film ever is. What American Hustle has going for it is that you are swept up in the con world the characters inhabit. Its sheer glamour seduces you because you're witnessing these larger-than-life characters acting screwy, making bad decisions, and one-upping each other with their cons. More than likely, you find yourself enjoying the experience and perhaps feeling a bit guilty about it because these characters are not good people. They're criminals when you get right down to it: white-collar criminals who rise to the top not because of talent, luck or hard work, but by cheating all along the way. American Hustle is about people you'd do anything to get away from in real life. Maybe that's one reason why they're so fun to watch on the big screen.American Hustle is nominated for 10 Academy Awards.


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