Christian Bale in full method-mode.
American Hustle is a movie about con men and con ladies. It features a hair-based “we’re all con men” analogy . The opening scene shows a paunchy Irving Rosenfeld (Christian Bale) constructing an elaborate comb-over and toupee concoction that requires multiple steps, precision timing, hairsprays and glues. Then there’s hard-charging FBI agent Richie DiMasio (Bradley Cooper), who perms his hair with rollers to create that perfect seventies white boy fro. The visual analogy end there, though Amy Adams’ character has a spiffy fake English accent and Jennifer Lawrence has a lot of feelings.
Irving and Sydney Prosser (Adams) are just two con people in love, selling marks fake high interest loans and frolicking around the back of Irving’s dry cleaning business. DiMasio busts up the party, and soon has them reeling in progressively bigger fish, like the mayor of Camden (Jeremy Renner) and a Florida mob boss (Robert De Niro). The pull this off with the help of a Mexican FBI agent impersonating an Arab Sheik.
Costumes are great, incredible disco dance sequence with Cooper and Adams, and everyone involved seemed to be having a lot of fun. The whole affair has a lot of hearts, and unexpected laughs. I was riding high on deep dish pizza, but the crowd I saw it with loved it, I was as entertained as I’ve been at the movies this year, and I expect this’ll clean up come Oscar time.