While everyone else was watching Frozen for the umpteenth time, I went to see American Hustle. This is the 2013 film directed by David O. Russell. I’ve only seen three of this prior films, with mixed opinions:
- Three Kings  – Starring George Clooney, Mark Wahlberg, Ice Cube, and Spike Jonze, I barely remember the film, but I thought it was so-so, whenever I watched it between 2000 and 2002.
- I Heart Huckabees  – I watched this as a rental back in July 2005. My brief review: “This movie sucked. It was quirky, and I don’t actually mind quirky. However, I found it to be a pointless 105 minutes, and frankly, a bit weird for the sake of being weird.”
- Silver Linings Playbook  – The single film of his that I do remember, because we watched it last March. Now, this film, I did like. Quirky in a way, because of Bradley Cooper’s bipolar character, but we thought it was an interesting and engaging film.
Which brings us to the present day. The film takes place in New York 1978, and primarily about two con artists (Christian Bale and Amy Adams) who meet and start a partnership to con people out of money by agreeing to supply loans to desperate shmucks. They eventually get rolled up in an FBI sting led by Bradley Cooper’s character. Jeremy Renner and Jennifer Lawrence play supporting characters, but I won’t reveal too many details. The events of the film are loosely based on the FBI ABSCAM operation of the late 1970s and early 1980s. They don’t reveal this little tidbit until about halfway through the film, which honestly blew my mind, because I had heard about ABSCAM, but didn’t remember the particular details. I wonder if this came up in my 11th grade American History AP class one day, and I had been out that day?
Strong performances throughout the film, including Jennifer Lawrence. There was a pretty good soundtrack of 1970s-era disco music, so if you’re interested in a little retro music, go see the film. It’s not a deep or life-changing film, but it’s not a bad way to pass the time.