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« The soul of Sim Tappertit fermenting | Main | Dickensian Hustle »


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Larry Gross

This nails it on American Hustle pluses and minuses but exactly.

Dan O.

Good review Lance. Though it definitely does feel a lot like a Scorsese flick, it's still so much fun that I couldn't help but get past that and just look on the bright side.


I saw AH last night.

I share many of your sentiments, Lance. Bale was surprisingly good. I can't recall a prior performance of his I was anywhere near impressed with, but he stole the show here from an adequate ensemble cast (Bradley Cooper is type-cast, Jennifer Lawrence continues her string of great performances and Amy *YAWWWWWWWWWWWWWWN* Adams was about as good as she gets. Jeremy Renner can mug for the camera, but I knew that from his guest spot on House.)

That they could make an actual comedy work without going into farce on the ABSCAM story is a tribute to Russell. That they could make it funny AND intriguing is a tribute to the cast.

I'm not sure that I'd give it many awards this season -- and my votes are about due in -- but Bale certainly would warrant consideration, and possibly Lawrence.

Jeremiah Kahn

Time and again, you clearly exposed your own blind spot in regards to your negativity about the film. You refer to what the movie is versus what you "were expecting", as if, somehow, the filmmaker is to blame for not delivering he movie you thought it was going to be. It's often hard to recalibrate ourselves when we are seeing something new, especially now when we enter into any cinematic experience thinking we already know everything about it. You are putting the movie down for it not feeling familiar enough to you instead of being open to something new, a different way to tell the story. Great, original art is often met with such negativity because people are unwilling to broaden their perceptions. Your review of AMERICAN HUSTLE, and others like it, reminds me of Roger Ebert's negative review of RAISING ARIZONA when it was first released.

Why fear the new?

Theophrastus Bombastus von Hoenhenheim den Sidste

Most excellent. Pardon me while I fire up "More Songs About Buildings and Food"



I want to address the "great art" part of your comment.

Anyone can make art. Art expresses a feeling about the world, a viewpoint.

Good art, people pay money for. They receive something, some communication that validates their worldview.

Great art makes people want to learn more. It surprises them, maybe even changes them a little. But it is unexpected.

That doesn't mean they have to like it.

Jeremiah Kahn

Dear actor212,




I'm with Jeremiah on this one. "American Hustle" wasn't at all what I thought it was going to be either which was a happy surprise. Wasn't a big fan of Silver Linings or The Fighter, and the plot for this one sounded like a "Goodfellas" retread, but the movie ended up reminding me of Robert Altman at his best, where the best moments are mostly throwaways on the margin of scenes. And it was genuinely, eccentrically funny which was also unexpected.

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