American Hustle. Sunday afternoon, Susan M., Bob and I went to see a top contender for Oscar 2013's Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, Best Costume Design (should I go on?) and two other nominations.
Having seen almost all the other Oscar-nominated films for 2013, I pick American Hustle as the Best Picture. It blew the other films out of the water. The story, acting, directing, and entire movie was so much fun to watch! And that's the thing, it was funny! Didn't expect that.
American Hustle takes place in 1978 telling the story of Abscam, and is based on the FBI's skulduggery to investigate government officials taking part in theft, forgery and stolen art. Abscam melds two words: "Abdul" and "scam." Abdul is short for Abdul Enterprises, Ltd., a fictitious company created by the FBI to serve as a front company. FBI employees posed as Middle Eastern sheikhs who had millions of dollars to invest in the United States. The Abscam operation was then re-purposed to target political corruption.
The FBI hired Melvin Weinberg, a con man and informant, to help conduct the operation. That was in real life.
In the movie, Mel Weinberg's character is named Irving Rosenfeld, played to perfection by Christian Bale. Bradley Cooper plays Richie DeMaso an FBI underling who hires Irving to work with the FBI. Then there are the women behind the men: Amy Adams plays Sydney Prosser/Lady Edith Greensly (Irving's mistress), and Irving's estranged wife, Rosalyn Rosenfeld, is Jennifer Lawrence. As the movie's opening line states, "Some of this actually happened."
What follows is a tightly wound tale of entrapment, double crossing and bribery. Each role is very well written, and the camera shots so up-close and personal, you feel like you're in each scene while the characters schmooze, flirt, yell, seduce and plot. Genius.
Watching the movie was pure, unadulterated entertainment. Best Picture of 2013 in my opinion. [Disclaimer: The only movie up for consideration of Best Picture that I have not seen is The Wolf of Wall Street. I cannot judge the merit of that movie.]
All of us loved the movie. If you've seen it, tell me what you thought.
Travel Bug out.