QZ qz thoughts
a blog from Eli the Bearded

American Hustle

American Hustle fits the same niche as Wolf of Wall Street, a more-or-less comedy based more-or-less on historical events. Hustle is a couple of years earlier than Wolf, starting in 1978 and covering the ABSCAM investigation from the point of view of the con-man the FBI pressured into helping them. The movie opens with "SOME OF THIS ACTUALLY HAPPENED" in big Helvetica letters to let you know it will deviate from the truth. (Closing credits are not in Helvetica.)

There is tension, drama, humor, no nudity but so much revealing clothing you might think there was nudity, cons and graft and manipulation, and a good cast. Also, unusual for film, we see the characters doing a lot of hair grooming. It opens with the effort Rosenfeld (Christian Bale) puts into his toupee / comb-over combination. We see at least two other characters in hair curlers and Rosenfeld has other (smaller) hair grooming scenes. Hair is apparently being used to metaphorically emphasize how fake these characters are.

Four out of five open-to-the-navel tops (four on Amy Adams, one on Richie DiMaso).

Before the movie were several trailers, only one of which was new to me and also intriguing: Dom Hemingway. Jude Law doesn't look like Jude Law here, which is a change from his normal. His on screen pal is played Richard E. Grant (looking old) and Grant is always a welcome sight. According to IMDB, Jude Law and Christian Bale both gained a lot of weight (30 and 40 pounds respectively) for these roles. Maybe that's why they seem so different in them.

American Hustle at IMDB

Wolf of Wall Street at IMDB

Helvetica at IMDB

Dom Hemingway at IMDB

Final thought: also interesting in the trailers was Wes Anderson's Grand Budapest