Google+

Retro Dramedy Revisits Abscam Scandal during Gaudy Disco Era

 

American Hustle

Film Review by Kam Williams

 

In the late Seventies, a half-dozen Congressmen along with a United States Senator were caught on camera taking bribes from FBI agents posing as wealthy Arab sheiks. The elaborate sting in which the disgraced politicians became ensnared was code named Abscam, a contraction of Arab Scam.

American Hustle is a visually-dazzling retro dramedy revolving around a fictionalized account of that embarrassing chapter of the nation’s history, Set in New York and New Jersey against the gaudy backdrop of the decadent Disco Music era, the film was written and directed by David O. Russell, Hollywood’s go-to guy blessed with the golden touch in recent years.

His Silver Linings Playbook landed eight Academy Award nominations and netted Jennifer Lawrence 2013’s Best Actress Oscar. That picture arrived close on the heels of The Fighter, which had garnered seven Oscar nominations en route to trophies for both Christian Bale and Melissa Leo in acting categories.

Here, David O. has produced another engaging and entertaining production featuring a plethora of powerful performances. This one co-stars Christian Bale as con artist Irving Rosenfeld and Amy Adams as his equally-mischievous British mistress, Sydney. MV5BNjkxMTc0MDc4N15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwODUyNTI1MDE@._V1_SX214_They play a pair of small-time crooks pressured to help the Feds catch bigger fish in order to avoid prosecution.

Reluctantly, they cooperate with Richie DiMaso (Bradley Cooper), an ambitious, if flamboyant, FBI agent who draws attention to himself by curling his straight hair and wearing trendy clothes. Self-protective Sydney flirts shamelessly with the fashionable G-Man, feeling little loyalty towards her partner in crime who’s dragging his feet about filing for a divorce from his wife.

But when blowsy Rosalyn Rosenfeld (Jennifer Lawrence) realizes that her philandering hubby has been cheating, the trashy loudmouth decides to bring the drama, getting even by seducing a shady character (Jack Huston) she has no idea is under government surveillance. Generating great hilarity, these tawdry love triangles escalate into attention-grabbing distractions that threaten to wreck the supposedly covert operation.

Meanwhile, the naive Mayor of Camden (Jeremy Renner) is being manipulated by Irving to introduce a notorious mob boss (Robert De Niro) as well as the aforementioned corrupt politicians to Sheik Abdullah (Michael Pena). However, the hapless FBI looks more like the Keystone Cops when the agent trying to pass as an Arab can’t speak his native language when challeneged.

Who knows whether any of the ridiculous incidents recreated here ever actually transpired? But guess what? You don’t really worry about the truth when the laughs just keep coming and the witty repartee remains so inspired.

Another memorable masterpiece cleverly crafted by the oh so talented David O!

 

Excellent (4 stars)

Rated R for sexuality, pervasive profanity and brief violence.

Running time: 138 minutes

Distributor: Sony Pictures

 

To see a trailer for American Hustle, visit:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NqgjPRNRDSY

 

 

,

REQUEST INFORMATION

Entertainment

For movies opening August 18, 2017

  OPENING THIS WEEK Kam's Kapsules Weekly Previews That Make Choosing a Film Fun by Kam Williams For movies opening August 18, 2017 BIG BUDGET FILMS The Hitman's Bodyguard (R for graphic violence and pervasive profanity) Unlikely-buddies comedy about an ace bodyguard (Ryan Reynolds) who grudgingly helps a notorious assassin (Samuel L. Jackson) negotiate a dangerous gauntlet en route to the Hague where he's set to testify in 24 … [Read More its Good for You.....]

Lifestyle

The “King” Will Take Center Stage at the 2017 Wildlife Conservation Expo

  The “King” Will Take Center Stage at the 2017 Wildlife Conservation Expo by Amy Lignor   Each and every year the Wildlife Conservation Expo is held to address situations out there that are harming our world and its animal inhabitants. This time around, WCN’s annual Fall Wildlife Conservation Expo in October, will be focusing on various issues, but it is the King of the Jungle who will be taking center stage. For those who are … [Read More its Good for You...]

Outdoors

How Bassmaster Pro Edwin Evers Adjusts the Auto Settings on His Sonar

  How Bassmaster Pro Edwin Evers Adjusts the Auto Settings on His Sonar  by Edwin Evers When it comes to electronics, a question I get asked a lot is, “How do you customize your fish finder settings at the beginning of a day on the water?” The short answer is, “I don’t.”   You might think that a guy who makes his living with a rod and reel and who’s always looking for ways to tweak a lure or find a stronger knot would spend a … [Read More its Good for You...]

Sports

College Football Arriving Soon!

  College Football Arriving Soon! by Amy Lignor   Ask any college football fan and they will tell you that it seems like an eternity waiting for the season to begin. But, have no fear, the kick-off to the college season is almost here, with Colorado State and Oregon State hitting the field on Saturday, August 26th at 2:30 p.m. ET. On the same day, fans of Oregon State and Colorado State will see an active match-up, and Portland … [Read More its Good for You...]

Travel

Going Back in Time on the Ultimate Steamboat Vacation

  Going Back in Time on the Ultimate Steamboat Vacation by Amy Lignor   Many people love taking a cruise. But it is the river cruise on that glorious steamboat that not only offers all the benefits a big ocean liner offers, but also creates a more personalized, intimate vacation experience. It is a unique recipe: being able to witness stunning landscapes, mixed with amazing history, while dining on acclaimed regional cuisine and … [Read More its Good for You...]

Real Estate

Real Estate: Refinancing Rates on the Rise in 2017

  Real Estate: Refinancing Rates on the Rise in 2017 by Amy Lignor   The term ‘meteoric rise’ usually applies to something fun. Think: A Hollywood actor who has been ‘discovered.’) Unfortunately, when it comes to this article, ‘meteoric rise’ is something that will not bring a smile to one’s face. To put it simply, if you wish to refinance your home, you need to do it ASAP. If choosing to wait too much longer, homeowners across the … [Read More its Good for You.....]

Business

Umbrella Insurance: The Safety Net You Need

  Umbrella Insurance: The Safety Net You Need by Amy Lignor   The realm of insurance is just about the most difficult maze to get through. Each and every day it seems the financial and insurance industries are changing. What is not changing, however, is the fact that lawsuits fill up the courts more and more – lawsuits that award cash to third parties even if you don’t happen to have that cash saved. More and more, the words “umbrella … [Read More its Good for You...]

Green Living

Creating the Perfect Vegetable Garden

  Creating the Perfect Vegetable Garden by Amy Lignor   Many are still dealing with that wintery mix Mother Nature just loves to toss down from the sky this time of year. Yet, that gardener living inside the soul – the one just dreaming of the sunny skies and lazy rainy days that are must-haves in order to grow the best vegetables possible – is already jotting down the facts, tricks and tips they need to know in order to make that … [Read More its Good for You...]

Books

Book of Black Heroes

  Book of Black Heroes Political Leaders Past and Present by Gil L. Robertson, IV Foreword by Myrlie Evers-Williams Just Us Books Paperback, $12.95 80 pages ISBN: 978-1-933491-21-9 Book Review by Kam Williams “The first African-American political leaders began to serve following the Civil War...Known as Reconstruction, this period represented a window of opportunity for African-Americans... Many [Black] political leaders emerged … [Read More its Good for You...]