If you doubt (after all this time?) that Christian Bale truly commits to each role he takes, wait till you lay eyes on him for the first time, right at the beginning of American Hustle. As the man works the various parts of his hair into a comb-over that is not fooling anyone, you get a shortcut glimpse into the insecurities that plague a man that profits from the gullibility of other people.
Through accident or serendipity there are two major Hollywood motion pictures out in the world right now that focus on the actions of people who profited while others suffered. I’ve already written about The Wolf of Wall Street, and now, during Oscar nominations week, American Hustle opens in India.
This is a movie set in the seventies with the hair and the clothes and the–especially in the case of Amy Adams–cleavage. A slide at the beginning of the film suggests that the movie is based, sort of, on true events but I can see why name actors like Mr. Bale, Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Jeremy Renner, and Ms. Adams signed on for this David O. Russell film: it provides plenty of opportunities for actors to chew up the scenery.
Ms. Lawrence’s performance is big, brassy, and–dare I say it? Yes I do–boringly one-note. But Mr. Bale and Ms. Adams bring their A-game to the party. As does Mr. Cooper as an FBI agent who uses curlers to get his hair looking like that (clearly there was something in the air, or the water, that justified grown men walking around looking like that in the 70s) and dances a mean disco dance.
Final Analysis: American Hustle is a fun take on the important movie–at least it looks like the cast members are enjoying themselves.
My Advice: Go watch it, because these are good times for fans of more than just the blockbusters. To be able to see movies like this, the way they are still intended–on the big screen–I can overlook the flaws. You should too.