Conning the Oscars

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Look at how bright eyed Jennifer Lawrence was a year ago. So cute.

Look at how bright eyed Jennifer Lawrence was a year ago. So cute.

American Hustle is a must-see

Article: Laura Billett – Contributor

[dropcaps round=”no”]F[/dropcaps]ebruary is a tough month, filled with midterms and a strong desire to escape all that is bitter and cold. This year, the return to classes from reading week is particularly upsetting: not only do we lose reading week’s freedom, but the Olympics are finished. Luckily, this weekend there is another event to distract us from our real lives and blind us with unrealistic dreams of fame and glory: the Oscars! Hosted by Ellen DeGeneres, the 86th Academy Awards cannot be missed this Sunday, March 2.

While it is nearly impossible to watch all nominated films, there are a few that are a definite must-see. American Hustle is one such film that cannot be missed. Its numerous nominations are indicative of its well written story and elaborate design. With an ideal balance of comedy and drama, the movie is captivating.

The plot centers on con artist Irving (Christian Bale) and his partner Sydney (Amy Adams) as they are forced to work for FBI agent, Richie (Bradley Cooper). Things become really interesting when the three get mixed up with politicians and the mafia. As the trio fall deeper into the dangerous realm of deception and riches, all is threatened by the wild carelessness of Irving’s unstable wife, Rosalyn (Jennifer Lawrence). American Hustle transports you to the exhilarating world of classy American deceit.

The cast is perfect; they create a dynamic that has you on the edge of your seat the whole 138 minutes. Lawrence is hilariously convincing as a careless, self-centered, and ignorant house wife, while Adams is equally compelling as an intelligent, fake Brit who charms her way into what she wants.

Bale and Cooper are also stark contrasts. Cooper is hot-headed and outspoken while Bale is confident and sly – the perfect con man. The cast works wonders together, their differences making you laugh, while keeping you suspicious and unsuspecting until the last five minutes where everything is at once clarified and turned on its head.

The movie casts a wonderful spell upon you as you watch it. The equally glamorous and cringe-worthy style of the 1970s is fabulously portrayed from Adams’s luxurious dresses to Bale’s pot-belly and gold chains.

Beauty and ugliness are melded together throughout the entire film. The con artists are cheating, lying, doing whatever it takes and ruining whomever it takes to make themselves rich, while maintaining a strong sense of friendship and loyalty. Love and greed equally dominate the film, making anything possible.

Every year, there are certain films that clean out the Academy Awards. Four nominations short of The Titanic (1997) and About Eve’s (1950) record-holding 14, American Hustle boasts 10 nominations: actor in a leading role (Christian Bale), actor in a supporting role (Bradley Cooper), actress in a leading role (Amy Adams), actress in a supporting role (Jennifer Lawrence), best picture, costume design (Michael Wilkinson), directing (David Russell), film editing, production design, and writing (original screenplay).

It is a movie you have to see before the ceremonies this Sunday as it is bound to win. Even if you are not a fan of the Oscars, who doesn’t love seeing wealthy swindlers being outsmarted by the everyday con artists!

[button style=”e.g. solid, border” size=”e.g. small, medium, big” link=”” target=””]Image: Gage Skidmore[/button]

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