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American Hustle: David O. Russell’s latest about startin’ from the feet up

“Some of this actually happened”

Where do you even begin with American Hustle? The movie from Silver Lining Playbook and The Fighter‘s David O. Russell is a lot of fun, but really? Really Bradley Cooper? Imagine Bradley Cooper not having an intense role where he’s like, going on some rant for five minutes every other scene. Maybe it was just his character; like, you were supposed to hate him. Or it was just because it was Bradley Cooper. Either way, the movie is addictive and good. The beginning was a bit confusing but as the story enfolds we become familiar with each one’s part (and their ever-so-malicious ways) with Christian Bale as the ultimate New York City hustler Irving Rosenfeld.

And it was the Long Island pool party that changed everything: as much love stories often go, it took one glance to figure out that Rosenfeld was in love with Miss Sydney Prosser (Amy Adams) (they both groove on Duke Ellington!). Prosser becomes infatuated with his “from the feet up” ways, and she too starts cashing in on Rosenfeld’s deals and starts a bit of her own hustling.

Remembering that Rosenfeld is a hustler after all, Prosser discovers that his baggage is a little more serious than expected with his super high-maintenance and passive-aggressive Long Island wife Rosalyn (Jennifer Lawrence) and son at home in their house on Long Island, causing a bit of drama.


The movie is based on a sequence of real life trials in the 70s, so when a wannabe hot-shot FBI agent Richie DiMaso (Bradley Cooper) brings down Rosenfeld and his sweet’s ever-growing operation, he offers the two incentive to go free IF they help him bust US Congressman in the act of accepting bribes, particularly the well-respected Mayor Carmine Polito (Jeremy Renner) who just wants to put Atlantic City back to work with his new casino project.

However stereotypical the movie might feel (everything from the set design to the soundtrack reminded us of The Iceman, minus the whole serial killer thing), with songs like ELO’s “10538 Overture” and Donna Summer’s “I Feel Love” (AND the Arabic version of “White Rabbit,” which is a damn treat), American Hustle is worth the watch just for David O. Russell being the director alone. Jennifer Lawrence’s character is never not hilarious with her Real Housewives of Long Island quirks (scented topcoat, always!), making for an almost necessary piece of the movie’s whole.

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Kaitlin Duffy is a writer from Cleveland. When she's not blogging or pondering the great complexities of the world and outer space, she is finding rare vinyl steals, visiting new places, laughing often, Instagramming everything in sight, watching movies, or working on her first feature Port de Cleve.