Brief Reviews: American Hustle

January 20th, 2014, 9pm

It was 5.6°C. The wind was calm.

If you’ve considered seeing American Hustle, don’t be tired when you sit down to watch it, or you might fall asleep.

I’m trying not to make this personal, and to view American Hustle through its own lens, rather than the David O. Russell Lens of Boredom I usually experience, but I just can’t get past it. Characters with dead eyes in beautiful clothing are still characters with dead eyes, and frankly we know that this all-star cast is better than that. Naturally, Jennifer Lawrence shines playing the slightly unhinged Rosalyn, but even then, it’s hard to see her through the mascara.

This might have been a good story, if it hadn’t been so long. If tension had been condensed into a few scenes like the one with Robert De Niro in the back of the casino, my skin would have crawled and I would have been less likely to look away from the screen or consider the running time.

With a handful of beautiful scenes and an occasional moment of true screenplay glory, this movie confirms for me that the Academy Awards aren’t totally about quality. American Hustle isn’t bad, but I’d be hard pressed to point to a nomination it deserves to win.

Adrian said thanks.

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Valerie Stimac

Constraints create lots of great things, diamonds and creativity among them.

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