A con man, Irving Rosenfeld, along with his seductive British partner, Sydney Prosser, is forced to work for a wild FBI agent, Richie DiMaso. DiMaso pushes them into a world of Jersey powerbrokers and mafia. (IMDB)
Writers: Eric Singer, David O. Russell
Directors: David O. Russell
Stars: Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Bradley Cooper
Run time/Rating: 138 Minutes/ R
Popcorn Score: Large Popcorn
I have taken too much time to put my thoughts down on this movie which had humongous expectations due to what I believe was an excellently produced and edited trailer with sexy women, comb-overs, great music and a star studded cast. Along with the fact David O Russell was coming off of a great movie last year in Silver Linings Playbook and teaming up with much of the same people and leading ensemble, this movie would have had to be truly amazing to live up to my expectations. Unfair? Probably. But that is what I went into it with.
After the movie began and I was attempting to sink my teeth into it I likened the story to a teeter totter. Always brining me to the brink of greatness but ultimately just teetering back the other way and leaving me with “goodness”. The whole story is a grift within a grift… and I think within another grift. It’s like the Inception of grift movies – The Sting meets inception minus ragtime and spinning tops, respectively. And by the time that the ultimate grift is revealed, which I think it the 3rd or the 4th grift within the grift, I didn’t really care anymore. The reveal at that point could not have been as shocking and cool and the elaborate setup would lead you to believe. In that sense, I suppose comparatively similar to the trailer and the actual movie, The story itself gave you unfair expectations for its own ending.
There is a tremendous level of sexiness in this movie. The Costume designer clearly decided to use 40% less material than what is usually required and that provided for deep V’s for the front of pretty much every woman’s dresses. Jennifer Lawrence and Amy Adams were both very great. Bradly Cooper is solid throughout and there is a quick moment at the end in a comedic effort where he proves that he is a talented megastar in my mind. A moment like that which I have been unable to forget can make a movie sometimes. Christian Bale and Jeremy Renner are also both rock stars. The small but impactful De Niro cameo was probably the most intense scene of the movie.
Taking that paragraph out of context I would bet you think this movie is destined for this sites coveted ranking of Large Popcorn with Butter but when all said and done, great performances and sexy flash does not a great movie make. (- Yoda) With unfortunately high expectations and a story that circled around and back again it just didn’t do enough to make the whole thing matter in the end.