“American Hustle”

Jake Tapley

When I first saw the trailer for “American Hustle,” I knew I was going to make a trip to see it.

With a star-studded cast featuring the likes of Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Bradley Cooper, Jeremy Renner, Jennifer Lawrence, and even an appearance from Robert De Niro, the movie was set up with high expectations in mind. And I feel that, in many ways, those expectations were well surpassed.

From David O. Russell, the director of the acclaimed comedy-drama “Silver Linings Playbook,” comes a movie with a similar blend of humor and bleakness. However, this time around, Russell showcases his ability to craft a movie more ambitious in its characterization of an era and its attention to detail.

“American Hustle” follows con man Irving Rosenfeld, played by Christian Bale, and partner-in-crime Sydney Prosser, played by Amy Adams, as they are blackmailed into further criminal activity by FBI agent Richie Di Maso, played by Bradley Cooper. The movie shows the struggle of each of these characters, as they are forced to balance their work lives with their personal lives and decide what is truly important to them.

The success of the movie ultimately rests in its well-crafted and believable characters that we are forced to sympathize with, despite their blatant and, in some cases, inexcusable flaws. This, paired with a plot twist that will likely throw you for a loop are reason enough to give “American Hustle” a viewing. And if you end up feeling a bit hustled yourself, I’m sure a second viewing will lend itself to clarity.