O.Russell is no hustler and this one’s his best

Pictured from left to right: Amy Adams, Bradley Cooper, Jeremy Renner, Christian Bale and Jennifer Lawrence.
Pictured from left to right: Amy Adams, Bradley Cooper, Jeremy Renner, Christian Bale and Jennifer Lawrence.

David O.Russell is without question right in the middle of the most prolific stage of his career.

Since the release of the Oscar winning ‘The Fighter’ O.Russell has gone to make two remarkable films; ‘Silver Linings Playbook’ and more recently, ‘American Hustle’.

O.Russell has always been a director with guile and an intelligent eye for an extremely satisfying story.

The New Yorker’s first commercial success came in 1999 in the form of ‘Three Kings’ - starring George Clooney, it’s a highly entertaining film with more than its fair share of things to say about the complexities of war.

In 2012 ‘Silver Linings Playbook’ was an instant success. It had heart, charm and two remarkable performances from leads Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence, for which the latter won the Oscar for the Best Supporting Actress.

O.Russell hasn’t dropped the ball. Instead, he’s kept a firm grasp of what made his previous two films so palatable and conjured up something truly spellbinding in ‘American Hustle’.

If it’s not broken then there’s no need for O.Russell to fix it. Therefore, the two actors who earned such critical acclaim in ‘Silver Linings Playbook’, Cooper and Lawrence, were both cast in starring roles in ‘American Hustle’.

Joining Cooper and Lawrence is the ridiculously talented Christian Bale, Amy Adams and Jeremy Renner.

Loosely based on the real life ABSCAM incident of the late 1970s and 80s, ‘American Hustle’ tells the story of what happens when two con artists, Irving Rosenfeld (Bale) and Sydney Prosser (Adams) are forced by FBI agent Richie DiMaso (Cooper) to work on a sting operation.

Bale gained just over three stone in weight to play tricky conman, Irving Rosenfeld and his performance is a real tour de force.

It’s a perfect portrayal by Bale and it’s almost inconceivable to think that the same actor we see on the big screen in ‘American Hustle’ is the same actor who played Bruce Wayne/Batman in Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy.

The film boasts a sterling cast but what makes ‘American Hustle’ utterly endearing is the film’s script.

Written by O.Russell and Eric Singer, the not so glitzy and not so glamorous world of Irving and Sydney et al comes to life courtesy of an almost perfect script and the line ‘don’t put metal in the science oven’ is sure to be one of the most memorable of 2014.

One of the most interesting aspects of ‘American Hustle’ is that the five main actors are all leading men and women in their own right.

With this in mind, we never get the sense that any of the leading stars are out to upstage one another and that’s a sign of a skilled director.

Still not convinced? Read on.

O.Russell’s film possesses an amazing soundtrack.

From ELO to Elton John, from Duke Ellington to Jeff Lynne, the music used in this film is terrific. If, like me, you’re not a fan of disco, you’ll still find yourself taking on the form of a human metronome.

‘American Hustle’ is currently showing at the Brunswick Moviebowl. For full listings visit www.brunswickmoviebowl.com or telephone 02871 371999.