Haiku #7 : American Hustle
where criminals are good guys
and should run the world
American Hustle (2013) is one of the rare con movies we get to see in the cinema these days (one might say the only decent one since Oceans Eleven). Directed by David O. Russel, who is also the mastermind behind the popular Silver Linings Playbook, it assembles a pretty impressive cast to tell the story of a New York hustler who plays the FBI just well enough to get exactly what he wants. As Paul Constant writes in The Stranger, the gaudy period detail of the 70s-inspired set is a little overwhelming, but doesn’t interfere too much with the enjoyment this movie brings. American Hustle is a fairly believable, small-scale story in which the con men, even if constantly bordering on the illegal, are the de facto good-doers within their community. So many films before it rode out this principle, and maybe nowadays we expect more complicated story lines and complex protagonists. But this doesn’t change the fact that it is entertaining, even if we can predict its end more quickly than we would like.
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Photograph by David O. Russel, who owns the copyright.