Five Reasons Why You Should (Re)Watch ‘American Hustle’ Tonight
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As the day draws to a close, we’ve once again found ourselves nestled next to our Netflix accounts to ride out our Wednesday night…

And we’re betting you have too, which makes today’s Executive Decision even more important. If you need us to refresh your memory, it’s where we give you a weekly breakdown on what movie to dig into as you combat with those Hump Day blues. Netflix, Stan, Amazon etc etc, we’ll never stray from our streaming services, and today we’re going back to our roots, setting our sights on Netflix as we dig into the David O’Russell classic American Hustle for our Wednesday viewing.

Inspired by the FBI Abscam operation of the late 1970s, Hollywood heavyweights Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper and more all operate in a hazy world of con-artists, FBI agents and criminal mobsters, all of whom are just as bad as each other. It sounds like your usual Hollywood blockbuster to be honest, but it’s also got an arthouse side to it as well, and it’s maintained that duality since its release eight years ago.

And so, we’ve made an Executive Decision. You’re logging onto Netflix and chucking on the con-artist classic American Hustle. No ifs, no buts. But of course, if you’re still a bit hesitant (we don’t see why though), we’ve compiled a list of five reasons of why its your only choice. Check it below.

The Jazzzz

Alright, this might sound a tad snobby, but whenever a director tries to incorporate jazz into a movie it comes across incredibly cheesily (shoutout to La La Land), but David O’Russell interweaves jazz greats like Duke Elington, Frank Sinatra and Donna Summer through the story of American Hustle with total ease.

The score almost becomes another character in the film, one that is most pertinent during Christian Bale’s narrations as Irving as he describes his perception of the world around him and the filter of cons he sees everything through. Case in point, this scene with Amy Adams’ Sydney Prosser and Bale’s Irving Rosenfeld falling for each other in the dry cleaners.

THIS Scene

I know Christian Bale and Amy Adams are meant to be the main power couple of this film, but there’s no denying that the chemistry old mate had with Jennifer Lawrence in this scene was one of the standouts of the film. The push and pull of their relationship and the constant arguing made the more sweeter moments all the more impactful. And when it all comes to a head toward the end of the film, well, it makes this steamy scene between them all the more foreboding.

Besides, you can tell they were throwing all of their acting chops at this moment; the two Oscar winners managing to fit flirting, threatening, reassuring and just totally going around in circles with each other in the space of three minutes.

The Dialogue

Obviously we’re huge dialogue nerds in the LWA office (Pulp Fiction quote offs are a weekly occurrence), and hence we absolutely feed off the dialogue in American Hustle. From Christian Bale’s narration to the exchanges between characters, almost every line has a deeper existential meaning.

Although our favourite is easily Bale’s “She was the Picasso of passive aggressive karate” in the scene just above, there are plenty of one-liners in this scene between Bale, Adams and Cooper. And in the words of Amy Adams’ Sydney Prosser, “Do it heavy or don’t do it.”

Ensemble Cast

Obviously an ensemble cast elevates any film from good to excellent, and American Hustle‘s list of actors is no exception. Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper, Amy Adams, Jennifer Lawrence, Jeremy Renner and of course the GOAT, Robert De Niro all sharing the screen, I mean, what more could you ask for?

And everyone really acts their asses off when pitted against one another, almost as if they’re trying to outdo one another in front of the audience. But as usual, De Niro somehow manages to come out on top every time (despite his limited amount of scenes), especially when he’s making everyone shit literal bricks at this not-so-friendly dinner.

Who’s Conning Who?

A world of smoke and mirrors has never been so damn confusing, and it’s all embodied in Amy Adams’ character Sydney Prosser. Sure, Christian Bale’s Irving is the OG con-artist in this escapade, but Sydney is the one who’s truly playing everyone.

Is she British or American? Is she in love with Richie or Irving? Is she actually a good person? She manages to have us questioning all of the above in the film’s two-hour runtime, and below is one of the few moments where she leads us to believe we finally have her figured out, all before she switches it up on us again.

Words by Amar Gera November 10, 2021
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