One of the more overtly entertaining films from 2013, American Hustle showcases five fantastic performances which propel this sort-of-true 70’s-set drama, while director David O. Russell continued his hot streak of familiar yet somehow unpredictable studio entertainments. The writing (by Russell and Eric Warren Singer) is funny and clever, Linus Sandgren’s robust cinematography has tons of visual pizzazz, the hair and make-up were all aces, and the dynamic costumes were the cherry on top. The priceless supporting cast brought lots of depth to the film (Louis CK was beyond hilarious), and I love how the film moves to this almost jazzy beat, with the creative team nearly daring the audience to keep up with the plot turns and random confusions that keep the narrative dense with incident and packed with character and flavor. Amy Adams was, it must be noted, aggressively sexy in this film. It may not add up to anything profound by the end, but on a moment to moment basis, this movie surges and pulses with energy and a clear zest for filmmaking. It’s still sort of shocking that it grossed $250 million worldwide, as it feels so retro and niche in retrospect.


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