AMERICAN HUSTLE directed by David O. Russell (USA, 2013)
Following on his superb Silver Linings Playback, David O.Russell makes use of some of the same actors for this highly enjoyable yarn inspired by a FBI operation that went pear-shaped in the late 1970s; hence the pre-credits caption: “Some of this actually happened”.
The sting of a sting of a sting tale left me floundering to follow all the twists and turns of the plot so it’s probably a movie that benefits from a second viewing (I’m only glad I didn’t see it dubbed into Italian!).
Having trimmed down and worked out for The Fighter, Christian Bale has flabbed up for his role as Irving Rosenfield and is all but unrecognisable. With his dodgy hair piece and very 70s fashion sense, he looks like he’s adopted Frank Booth’s smart man disguise from David Lynch’s Blue Velvet.
As a slick con artist, his partner in crime is the seductive Sydney Prosser (Amy Adams) who pretends to be an aristocratic English woman Lady Edith Greensly because this sucks in more victims – desperate men in search of loans. View full article »
SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK directed by David O.Russell (USA, 2012)
After the sobering experience of watching Indonesian death squad leaders giving tips on how to kill communists in The Act Of Killing, I needed some light relief.
How about a nice Rom-Com?
I was cognizant of the fact that many films in this genre are simply not funny and most are plain dumb. Silver Linings Playbook, liberally adapted from a novel by Matthew Quick, is a welcome exception to this rule. It not only has a heart and soul but has a brain too.
The movie boasts a top class double act in the form of Bradley Cooper as Pat and Jennifer Lawrence as Tiffany. Both have a history of mental instability and possess bags of energy but poor social skills – “I don’t have a filter when I talk” says Pat, who suffers from bipolar disorder.
Tiffany, a self-proclaimed “ex-slut” is convinced that “humanity is just nasty and there’s no silver lining”. Pat, whose motto is ‘excelsior’, believes that if you get in shape and stay positive, the breaks will come. View full article »