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‘Boring plot, but magnificent egos’ in American Hustle

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Film review by Helena Kealey

“Some of this actually happened” is the opening line in American Hustle.

And those bits are the boring bits. The plot. The fantastical con agents, fake Sheikhs, 10 million dollars, and FBI bits. Boring and messy.

We know this film would have been better without any plot, because the one it had hung limply between long, elaborate scenes of characters hating on each other, entirely overshadowed by the tiny hair rollers on Bradley Cooper’s head and Amy Adam’s breasts.

If any of the creative team had cared about the story at all, they’d have cut the waffle, but, in a film where the plot got distracted and left the set, the characters thrived.

A neurotic federal agent with a fondness for smashing in faces with telephones; mad, bad and very funny conversations with husbands that characters no longer love; and a thinning comb-over above a slab of pink, shiny stomach – this is where the real film lies.

In this free-for-all of raging egos, Christian Bale, Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper are all magnificent.

Come for the hustlers if you like, but the Americans are all you’re getting. That’s all right though – they’re very good at it.

 

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