American Hustle ★★★★

You're nothing to me until you're everything.
-Sydney Prosser

Maybe it was a case of trying to fix some difficult edits in the film, but David O. Russell really needs to reevaluate his understanding of how to use the voice over. It's such a mess that it almost ruins the beginning of the film. The best example is having Christian Bale explain through voice over that his character owns a chain of dry cleaners, followed by Amy Adams saying in a voice over that Bale's character owns a chain of dry cleaners which is then followed by a scene of Bale's character explaining to Adams' character that he owns a chain of dry cleaners.

Thankfully I didn't let the opening sour the entire experience for me as the film recovers from those stumbling blocks to deliver a great crime/dramady involving an elaborate sting operation where the most level headed guy in the room is the con man, Irving Rosenfeld (Christian Bale), but no one has an ounce of respect for him. Just about everyone treats him like shit and no one listens to him even though they're trying to use him to set up the entire sting.

The thing is he's a bit of a schlub, but he knows that and is comfortable with it. That's why I like his character so much. Unlike the other characters in the film, Rosenfeld knows he's a big fish in a small pond and a complete fucking loser anywhere else. You can actually feel his blood pressure rise as the sting operation just keeps getting bigger and bigger to the point where his life is most definitely in danger but no one else notices because they are delusional about their importance in this world.

That brings us to Bradley Cooper who attempts to make people forget The Hangover Part III in a great turn as Richie DiMaso, an FBI agent that gets hard at the thought of making a name for himself. I love his incredible delusional obsession with making "the big bust". Amy Adams is the survivalist that clings onto whoever she thinks will make her money, or keep her out of jail... and that fake British accent is hilarious, the faux sophistication she thinks it brings and sometimes does because "people believe what they want to believe".

Supporting cast just as good with Jennifer Lawrence as the wife from hell. She seriously cracked me up as I wasn't expecting her to play a role like that. She's the type of wife you'd just want to murder and bury somewhere in the woods, but at the same time she is exactly the person I would expect Irving Rosenfeld to be married to. Jeremy Renner is another cast member in a role I wouldn't have expected, but it's Louis C.K. I got the biggest kick out of. I can just picture him looking at the role and coming to the realization "This... this I can fucking do."

Started off rocky but the film's cast easily one me over. Enjoyed the hell out of this.

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