Monday, February 6, 2017

Ten Statements About....AMERICAN HUSTLE (2013)

Ooooooh....double-plus purty
“I think the name of this operation is offensive. What, Abscam? "Arab-scam"? It's racist!"
“Are you fucking kidding? What do you care? You're Mexican.."

1) I don’t know, but for a film that’s supposed to be a period piece, it doesn’t feel like a period piece.  Hell, you could do this film more modern-day with only a little tweaking.  The whole sense is that these are not 70‘s people, but people playing dress up.

2) That being said, I appreciate how the bulk of the actors are made to look distinctively different from their normal look--thus giving us more of a sense of veracity and allowing us to immerse ourselves in the story.

3) David O. Russell must really love Good Fellas, because so much of the structure and the way the film handles music is lifted from that film.

4) I really don’t understand why this is considered a comedy, as the tone is more grim than humorous.
"Hey, Jeremy...move your hair.  It's blocking my sightlines..."

5) I was really taken with Amy Adams’ Sydney--and not just because she’s purty (and show quite a bit of cleavage throughout).  When she’s masquerading as the very British ‘Edith,’ Adams allows her natural intonations slip through at key points, reminding us that she’s new at playing a role.  And the fact that she’s manipulating Bradley Cooper’s Richie is very well handled.  That being said...

6) ...I really think it was a mistake to give Adams a narration sequence in Act One.  It disappears fairly early on in the proceedings and dilutes the fact that this is Irving’s story.

7) Boy, Jeremy Renner’s hairstyle should get its own credit considering how it seems to dominate the proceedings every time it’s onscreen.

"No, dammit...I won't play Pattycake with you!"
8) I love how Russell’s opening title card--’Some of this stuff is true’--allows him to embellish the story to his heart’s content.

9) I get that a pop music soundtrack is now essential to any period piece movie (and that Russell is trying to emulate Good Fellas’ usage of the same), but the songs seem chosen haphazardly and placed in the film obtrusively.

10) The resolution of the story arc of Sydney’s and Christian Bale’s Irving seems forced.  It seems like they’re made to do what Russell wants them to do and not what’s organic to the story itself.

Overall...painfully flawed but with some interesting performances, it’s mildly worth a watch.  I can’t see why it was nominated for Best Picture, though.

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