Sunday, 16 February 2014

American Hustle

A film which I found difficult to get into but thought it has a great ending twist although thoroughly immoral from start to finish is American Hustle and where a number of actors could get an award, Christian Bale, Any Adams and Jennifer Lawrence.

American Hustle is a 2013 American crime comedy-drama film directed by David O. Russell, from a screenplay written by Eric Warren Singer and Russell, loosely based on the FBI ABSCAM operation of the late 1970s and early '80s It stars Christian Bale and Amy Adams as two con artists who are forced by an FBI agent (Bradley Cooper) to set up an elaborate sting operation on corrupt politicians, including the mayor of Camden, New Jersey (Jeremy Renner). Jennifer Lawrence plays the unpredictable wife of Bale's character.

Principal photography on American Hustle began on March 8, 2013 in Boston and Worcester, Massachusetts, and New York City. The film had its nationwide release in the United States on December 20, 2013. The film received critical acclaim and has been a box office success. It received ten Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Original Screenplay, and became the second film since 1981 to be nominated in the four acting categories, the first being Silver Linings Playbook, also directed by David O. Russell and also starring Cooper and Lawrence. American Hustle won three Golden Globe Awards, the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture and is nominated for 10 BAFTA Awards, among other achievements. We shall see!

Wikipedia story notes

In 1978, con artists Irving Rosenfeld and Sydney Prosser have met, started a relationship, and are working together. Sydney has improved Rosenfeld's scams, posing as English aristocrat "Lady Edith Greensley". They are a well-matched couple, but Irving is hesitant to leave his adopted son Danny with his wife Rosalyn, who will not divorce him.
FBI agent Richard "Richie" DiMaso catches Irving and Sydney in a loan scam but offers to release them if Irving can line up four additional arrests. Sydney opposes the agreement. Richie believes Sydney is English but has proof that her claim of aristocracy is fraudulent. Sydney tells Irving she will manipulate Richie, distancing herself from Irving.

Irving has a friend pretend to be a wealthy Arab Sheikh looking for potential investments in America. An associate of Irving's suggests that the Sheikh do business with Mayor Carmine Polito of Camden, New Jersey. The popular mayor is campaigning to revitalize gambling in Atlantic City but has struggled to raise the necessary funds. Richie devises a plan to entrap Carmine despite the objections of his boss Stoddard Thorsen and Irving. Sydney helps Richie manipulate an FBI secretary into making an unauthorized wire transfer of $2,000,000. When Stoddard's boss, Anthony Amado, hears of the operation, he praises Richie's initiative, pressuring Stoddard to continue the operation.

Richie's over-eagerness to catch Carmine causes the mayor to leave their meeting. Irving convinces Carmine that the Sheikh is legitimate, expressing his dislike toward Richie, and the two become friends. Richie arranges for Carmine to meet the Sheikh at an airfield, forcing Stoddard into further expenses. Without consulting the others, Richie has Mexican-American FBI agent Paco Hernandez play the part of the Sheikh.

Carmine brings the Sheikh to a casino party, telling him that mobsters are there and it is a necessary part of doing business. Irving is surprised to see that the violent Mafia overlord Victor Tellegio, second-in-command to Meyer Lansky, is there, and wants to meet the Sheikh. Tellegio explains the business will need the Sheikh to become an American citizen, and Carmine will need to expedite the process, bribing officials if necessary. Tellegio also requires a $10,000,000 wire transfer, to prove the Sheikh's legitimacy. Richie agrees, eager to bring down Tellegio, while Irving realizes the operation is out of control.

Richie confesses his attraction to Sydney, but becomes confused and aggressive when she drops her English accent and admits to being American. Irving arrives to protect Sydney and tries to call off their deal with Richie, but Richie says that if they back out, Tellegio will learn of the scam and murder Sydney, Irving, Rosalyn, and Danny.

Rosalyn starts an affair with Pete Musane, a mobster she met at the party. She mentions her belief that Irving is possibly working with the Internal Revenue Service, so Pete threatens Irving, who promises to prove the Sheikh's investment is real. Irving later confronts Rosalyn, who admits she told Pete because she feels unloved. Rosalyn agrees to keep quiet about the plan but wants a divorce.

With Carmine's help, Richie and Irving entrap members of Congress into receiving bribes on videotape. Richie goes over Stoddard, convincing Amado that $10,000,000 is needed to entrap Tellegio, but only gets $2,000,000. A meeting is arranged at the offices of Tellegio's lawyer Alfonse Simone, but Tellegio does not show up. The operation continues, and Richie records an admission of criminal activities when Simone accepts the transfer.

Irving visits Carmine's house and admits to the scam but tells Carmine he has a plan to help him. Carmine blames Irving, saying he only wanted to improve New Jersey and throws Irving out, their friendship now destroyed, much to Irving's regret. Later, the money is missing, but an anonymous source offers to return it in exchange for immunity for Irving and Sydney and a reduced sentence for Carmine. Amado is willing to make the deal, but Richie objects. Irving suggests Richie either has the money or is incompetent for losing it—in fact, Irving and Richie never met with Tellegio's lawyer. Instead, Irving had a friend pose as the lawyer Simone to con Richie, giving Irving needed leverage, and keeping them from earning the wrath of the mob. Amado accepts the deal and removes Richie from the case, dropping him back into obscurity.

Irving and Sydney open a legitimate art gallery and move in together, while Rosalyn lives with Pete. Rosalyn shares custody of her son Danny with Irving. Tellegio accepts that Irving and Sydney deflected attention from him and leaves them to get on with their lives.




No comments:

Post a Comment