Thursday, December 26, 2013

American Hustle, a Movie Review

It is frightening when you go to a movie set several decades ago when the fashion styles were hideous and you realize you know the words to all the music in the film because those were the years you were in college. Please tell me there are no existing pictures of me during those days. And if so, hopefully, no one would recognize me. 

American Hustle is packed with an unbelievable amount of today's young star power. I do not think I have seen  Christen Bale (playing Irving Rosenfeld, the ultimate con-man), Amy Adams (who plays Sydney Prosser, his co-hort and mistress), Jennifer Lawrence (playing Rosalyn Rosenfeld - the wife) in the same scene with Bradley Cooper (Richie DiMasso, the FBI agent). How many Academy Awards and nominations are we talking about among that group?

As part of the opening states, "Some of this actually happened." The story line is based on the Abscam sting operation set-up by the FBI in the late 70's and early 80's that brought down one US Senator, six member of the US House of Representatives, a NJ State Senator, and others on convictions of bribery, conspiracy, and public corruption. 

John Jenrette (D-SC) was one of the officials nabbed. His daughter was in my college sorority when everything went public. The press dogged that poor child everywhere she went, like she had something to do with it. That was the first time I ever realized how vicious the paparazzi could be. And, if that was not enough for my sorority sister,  her step mother, Rita, then created her own scandal by posing in Playboy and stating in the accompanying article that she and John (her husband- the congressman) had sex on the steps of the U.S. Capitol during a break in an all-night House session. (None of this had anything to do with the movie.) I digress.

I will not go further into the story line. However, I will say,"it ain't over, 'til it's over". The movie is well cast and acted (duh!). The story is entertaining and the plot is well developed. However, it is long (138 minutes) and, at times, I felt like someone told the director and screen write they had to fill up that amount of time. I am not sure which scenes, if any, I would have cut, but it really dragged. 

There are some potentially Academy Awards  here (IMHO), however, I do not see it as Best Picture. I do recommend seeing it, just buy the large drink and pop corn.

Oh, and after Rita divorced John Jenrette, she went on to marry Prince Nicolò Boncompagni Ludovisi of Piombino*.  Ludovisi commissioned the recreation of a fragrance originally devised for one of his princely ancestors in honor of his bride. I kid you not. Oh, what a life!

*Piombino is an Italian principality dissolved under the rule of Napoleon Bonaparte

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