Tuesday, December 17, 2013
Is it Hair or American Hustle
American Hustle is big and shiny and has enough interesting elements that it made me think it was a good movie. But after two days of rumination I now think it doesn't quite jell together as a fully formed piece despite a few interesting vignettes.
As for the performances they are a mixed bag. Bradley Cooper is plain bad despite having a full and interesting character arc. Although he has one great bit - a moment of indignant triumph. Amy Adams can't make sense of a terribly underwritten part, it might possibly be the worst she's ever been on screen. I was hugely disappointed in Adams as I usually like her. Where's the fire from her previous collaboration with Russell in The Fighter? Christian Bale was all accent, gut and hair (or lack there of), exterior and surprisingly thin non-affecting performance.
Faring better are Jennifer Lawrence and Jeremy Renner. Lawrence's magnetism rises above the meandering script to provide a couple of very entertaining scenes. She is bombastic and blows off even the usually intense Bale in their scenes together. Renner underplays to success and his scenes with Elizabeth Rohm, who plays his wife, have an endearing casual warmth.
The movie was still watchable despite being more bad than good. Best would be to find Lawrence's couple of scenes - including the lip lock with Adams and her over the top rendition of "Live and Let Die" - on youtube. Or just look at pictures; the hair is the most interesting element after all.