American Hustle is the most overrated movie ever made
Every year, there are films that undeservedly receive award nominations due to the names attached to the project. Take this year’s most overrated flick, “American Hustle,” which stars award season favorite Jennifer Lawrence, film vet Robert De Niro, and screen chameleon Christian Bale. But these big names can’t save the movie from failing in my eyes. Here’s why I think “American Hustle” is the most overrated film this award season.
If you’re going to break the rules of screenwriting, do it well. Time jumps and choppiness right out of the gate have to be clever, stylized choices or simply hilarious ones. Unfortunately, neither was the case here. Early on, we meet characters played by Christian Bale and Amy Adams. They provide backstory that would have been more interesting to reveal later, especially since the script is full of (poorly crafted) twists and turns. By the way the script is written, one would think that Adams’ character would be one of two focal points throughout the entire film, but her character was easily traded out to allow extra camera time for supporting actress Jennifer Lawrence. Let’s not even talk about that complete waste of a cameo that was forced into the script for Robert De Niro.
People are trained to praise the “David O. Russell crew.” David O. Russell has had some legitimate hits like “Three Kings” and “The Fighter.” Last year, we saw the overhyped “Silver Linings Playbook” get way too much buzz because the up-and-coming star from “The Hunger Games” was billed alongside Bradley Cooper and De Niro. In a slow season for lead actresses, she nabbed a bunch of awards for a performance that was not exactly mind-blowing. If you really watched the movie, you saw many flaws in the direction and continuity. Combine “The Fighter” superstars Bale and Adams with the “Silver Linings” team and you have a star-studded lineup that will probably pull in four Oscar nominations just because of who they are. However, if you look closely at their roles, almost none of them are likable or have any redeeming qualities. He tried to showcase some real human moments, but they really didn’t transpire naturally. Cry on cue all you want, Miss Adams. I just don’t care.
Bradley Cooper just doesn’t have the acting chops the others have. I’ve said this time and time again. Yes, he plays the egotistical jerk-off really well. I get it. When you really watch Cooper’s acting in this film (or in many others), notice how he always makes strong physical or vocal choices. This is because HE IS NOT MAKING STRONG ACTING CHOICES. He always uses some kind of unique tick or vocal pattern, but please don’t get drawn in by those baby blues. They will get you every time!
Louis C.K. was miscast and it was awkward. What does one say about this? I am used to Louis being funny. He was not funny, nor did his character make any sense. Because the script didn’t have many lines for him, director Russell told him to make up an ice fishing story, which became an odd running gag in the film. It serves absolutely no purpose. The ending to the story (which didn’t make the cut) was a kid pooping on the ice. Improvised dialogue is great … when it actually works.
Jeremy Renner was a waste of talent. Jeremy Renner is hitting the peak of his career with his involvement in the “Bourne,” “Avengers” and “Mission Impossible” franchises. He is a dynamic talent whose character was an absolute snoozefest this time around. While the other big-name actors were having field days with their quirky characters, Renner was forced to play it straight. Clearly there will be no award campaign for him, especially because he falls in the same category as Mr. Cooper. Is he paying his dues to join the David O. Russell crew?
It’s a period piece, so the design nominations will put them at the top. The only award that would be fair for this film to win is for costume design. The wardrobe really worked for the story that was being told. These design nominations, when added to all the others, will be the ones that put “American Hustle” at the top of the list when the Academy announces their nominees next week. It’s an easy way to ensure this film gets the most buzz this season.
It’s labeled a comedy, but it’s just NOT FUNNY. This film was written like a drama and should have been made a drama. Of course, it’s easier to win in the Comedy/Musical category of the Golden Globes than it is in the Drama category. When the movie opened with Bale carefully putting on his fake head of hair, I thought that this could be a really great character piece. However, many potentially hilarious moments like that were tossed away. Many attempts at comedy seemed to be contrived or forced. The funniest character was oftentimes Lawrence’s Rosalyn, who was nothing more than a two-dimensional stereotype. Hell, Snooki could have played that role. In real life, the wife of the man who inspired Bale’s character hung herself. Now that would have been interesting to see in the movie.
Although I didn’t find it funny, “American Hustle” will probably get the last laugh.