American Hustle – 8/10

Two con artists are caught by the FBI and coerced into helping forge an investigation into scams involving politicians, the mob and some awful haircuts.


Occasionally a film will come along where the acting is so strong the story doesn’t really matter. The Big Lebowski is one such film or the ultimate example would be Glengarry Glen Ross. American Hustle is almost there as well.

The main four players Amy Adams, Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper and especially Jennifer Lawrence smoulder and spit against each other brilliantly. There are so many layers to the relationship between characters and the chemistry between them that it keeps your head spinning throughout. A wonderfully eclectic supporting cast of Jeremy Renner, Louis CK, an ever menacing Robert De Niro, and Shea Whigham among others make every scene pop off the screen with each cast member at the top of their game.

The story is what lets American Hustle down though, it starts off intricate and interesting but it definitely runs out of steam by the end, with the ending feeling a bit rushed and deflating. There are better films in this years Oscar pool but if someone from American Hustle doesn’t take home a statue for acting they have been robbed. They should make up an award for best hairpiece just for Christian Bale. It really is a sight to behold.

American Hustle is not as good as director David O. Russell’s last two films (Silver Linings Playbook, The Fighter) but it is still a very good piece of work.

Silver Linings Playbook – 10/10.

Pat Solitano leaves a mental institution and attempts to integrate himself back into normal society.


Bradley Cooper plays the protagonist  and he smashes it out of the fucking park. In any other year he whould be nailed on for a best actor Oscar, Daniel Day-Lewis will win it of course.
Jennifer Lawrence cements her reputation as the best actress working in Hollywood right now with her crushingly beautiful performance as the damaged Tiffany. In support Robert De Niro gives his best performance in years and has some of the funniest lines.
Silver Linings Playbook has many laugh out loud moments but is also heartbreaking and up lifting, touching on mental health, alienation, longing, love, family, how sport and dance can bring people together and people’s attitude to mental illness (particularly the authorities). As someone who worked in mental health for a while I felt that the issues faced by Bradley Cooper and his reaction to them were portrayed perfectly. No film has touched me on so many levels as Silver Linings Playbook has for years. It also has the most iconic dance sequence since Pulp Fiction and a great soundtrack.
Director David O. Russell has come a long way since Three Kings and it is going to be nigh on impossible for him to follow the huge success of The Fighter and now this. If you only watch one the films nominated for Best Picture at this years Oscars make it this one.