For the last several weeks, the trailers for "American Hustle" have left me ambivalent about seeing it in theatres. The other night, I saw a Richard Roeper review, in which he raved about how awesome it was, and that the DeNiro cameo was possibly some of the best ten minutes of his acting career.
After seeing it this afternoon, man did I feel deceived.
I really should have stuck with my gut on this.
I think that the story itself was interesting, but the directing and editing was all wrong, and they actors were cast in the wrong parts. As much as I love Christian Bale, there's no way in hell he should be nominated, let alone win an Oscar for this performance. I kept hearing about how he should be in the running, and I'm hear to tell you right now, no, he shouldn't be. In fact, I think he was miscast. I think they all were.
Bradley and Christian needed to switch. I'm sorry, I just couldn't buy Bale as this balding, gut having, uncouth con artist. If he were a suave, Thomas Crowne kind of con artist, okay, but this was just wrong. He's a great actor, but it just didn't fly. Bradley could have done it. On that same token, I didn't buy Bradley as an FBI Agent. I think that role would have been better suited for Bale.
I think Amy Adams is fabulous, but she and Jennifer Lawrence needed to switch roles in order for the whole thing to work on screen. I think Adams was capable of playing either role, but Lawrence was not up to snuff. That being said, Lawrence was given the harder role, in certain respects, even though she had less screen time. The role just didn't hold a lot of weight with her at the helm. Adams' role required an English accent, so perhaps Lawrence couldn't have done the part? I don't know that for certain, but her range just was not there as Bale's wife.
The film also started out slow. So slow that I caught a few z's after the first thirty minutes. It's rare indeed for me to fall asleep during a film, regardless of how tired I am. I felt like Scorese or Soderbergh should have directed this. I felt like the director, David O. Russell, was way out of his depth on this one.
In short, this is a film better served as a rental, or waiting for it to hit HBO or something.