American Hustle is a 2013 film based on a real-life FBI operation that happened in the years between 1970 and 1980. The film might be based on a specific event in FBI history, but it also covers a lot more. It went on to be very successful. Becoming an award-winning film, American Hustler received a lot of praise for several filmmaking aspects including its ensemble cast and writing.
Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper, Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner and Jennifer Lawrence are some of the members of the cast. Bale and Adams lead the film as the two con artists who help Cooper’s character in the ploy to rope in corrupt government officials. Keep reading to learn more about the critically acclaimed movie.
American Hustle Is Based On A True Life Story
Amy Adams and Christian Bale play Irving Rosenfeld – who is based on the real con artist, Mel Weinberg, and Sydney Prosser respectively. They work together and have a romantic relationship which is hurting Rosenfeld’s marriage with his wife played by Jennifer Lawrence. The two con artists are caught up in a scam and for immunity are forced to work with FBI agent Richie DiMaso.
DiMaso is hell-bent on catching corrupt government officials. This drives him to do very extreme things, which also lands him in trouble and costs him his job. American Hustle is a black comedy that rides on the ridiculousness of the events in the story. This is coupled with the comedic timing and performance of cast members like Jennifer Lawrence who plays a very volatile character who threatens to ruin the very dangerous work of her husband.
The Characters Oscillate Between Comedy and Drama
Jennifer Lawrence has been credited as being the best performer in American Hustle. This is largely because of how well she plays her character. She is one of the more comedic characters in the film, but she is still able to put on a good enough dramatic performance when required. Adams’ character as a con artist is a layered performance as she pretends to be English, as an American. The ensemble cast of the film deserves the credit for elevating the film. This is because of how well they portray their characters.
American Hustle Addresses Fraud and Greed
Since American Hustle is based on true life events, it addresses a range of topics. One of the biggest lessons in this film is the dangers of fraud. It haunts the lives of the lead characters. It also destroys the life of the person who attempts to use it for his own goals. Another theme of American Hustle is greed. It is rife in the lives of the characters, all trying to attain much more they can take on. In the end, it burns some of the characters while some are spared. But not without cutting it too close.
Real-life Inspirations Of The Film
As previously stated, this film is about an FBI Operation from the ’70s and ’80s. The operation was called Abscam. It led to the conviction of seven members of Congress and this was depicted in the film.
The characters in American Hustle were also based on real-life people. Changes had to be made to their names to shield their identities and potentially protect the film’s makers from lawsuits. For example, Bale’s Irvin was based on Mel Weinberg, Sydney was based on Evelyn Knight, and Cynthia Marie Weinberg, the real wife of Mel Weinberg was the inspiration for Jennifer Lawrence’s character. Mayor Carmine Polito was the inspiration for the character played by Jeremy Renner, he was a democrat politician who was also affected by the Abscam operation.
American Hustle Was Highly Praised
After its release, American Hustle gained widespread praise. The film, expertly blended elements of crime, drama, and comedy to deliver a captivating story. Garnering multiple accolades and nominations during award season, this established its status as a standout film of its time.