Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Film: American Hustle. Directed by David O'Russel

"The Fighter" is David O'Russell's best film so far. He has been trying hard to emulate his past success but in  vain."Silver Linings Playbook" was a sugar coated interpretation of a not so bad debut novel by Matthew Quick. The book had more dramatic potential than the film could make use of. It threw out the drama and stayed on the level of  kitschy romance drama cliches.

"American Hustle" is another disappointment. It is not an important film, it is just another (among many) genre picture. It does not rise above the level of a con-scheme film and there are far better con films than this one. And no matter how big and powerful its PR campaign is and how many awards the film will win -- this is not going to change. 

The story is contrived and the characters are contrived - hence the stress on physical disguise - the actors have nothing to play, at least they have to look different... Their performance is hinged on physical things - they are trying hard to impersonate some psychological types or to mask the lack of drama or psychological motivation using superficial trickery. They are trying to conjure up the psychological via the mechanical. In the case of Ms Lawrence it works -she is playing the trashy nagging wife cliche after all. Amy Adams' character presence on the screen most of the time is dramatically and logically not justified. Her character's relationship to the over-zealous FBI agent is illogical to the point of puzzling and mired in tasteless erotics. 

The film's anti-corruption political pathos is so tired and unoriginal. 
There are films like that - all the components of good film-making are there but the aftertaste of having watched something futile and phony remains. 
The hype about "American Hustle" -- inexplicable!

By the way, "The Fighter" was not co-written by D. O'Russell while for both "Silver Linings" and "American Hustle" - he co-wrote the screenplay. May be he should stop doing that.

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