Friday, June 6, 2014

"American Hustle" (2013) A Mini Review of a Waste of My TIme

“I want to show you something. This Rembrandt here, people come from all over the world to see this.”
“Yeah, it's good. Yeah.”
“It's a fake.”
“Alright, what are you talking about? That's impossible.”
“People believe what they want to believe. Cause the guy who made this was so good that it's real, to everybody. Now who's the master? The painter or the forger?”
“That's a fake?”
“That's the way the world works.”

“American Hustle” is an exercise in cynicism. It presents a stylized version of America that is at its ugliest, crooked-est and most uninspiring. Everyone is playing everyone else. It is a story about people trying to pick the best of all the terrible options presented to them. But mostly it is just ugly.

Ostensibly based on a true event in recent American history, it is a fake just like the painting Irving and Richie observe in the movie. And just like that fake, it sucked a lot of people into its con. It is as if the filmmakers tried to convince people that ugly is beauty, scatter-brained is cohesive, and disjointed, mundane, slice-of-life is great drama.

The opening scene is an extended bit where the main character, Irving Rosenfeld, arranges his elaborate but totally unconvincing comb-over. It is an appropriate opening to an elaborate but totally uninspiring story.

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