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29 January 2014


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How can Hollywood re-do the '70s without muscle cars? BTW you left out a reference to Smokey and the Bandit. Maybe they can redo that one. Son of Smokey, sonny goes off to bring Colorado's finest to the South. That might actually be worth ten bucks.

Glad you're back Alan.

Steve Coltomn

Okay, I'm laughing at a ridiculous movie I will never see. Monsieur (French) Farrell has brightened my day yet again. Thank you, sir!


I'm puzzled by the amount of critical affection being showered on American Hustle. Seemed to me to be both faux-Seventies and faux-Scorsese, and given that an actual Scorsese picture on a related subject is playing in the same cineplex currently, you might as well see that one even if it isn't top-of-the-line.

Maybe Marty should trade in his current muse DiCaprio for Cooper, the results could be interesting.....

William R. Cumming

Alan! At least one modern American historian has labeled the culture of Americans as a nation of "hustlers"! We hustle ourselves and others! See again "The Hustler" identifying "self-delusion" as the key American trait!

Medicine Man

Entertaining as always, Mr. Farrell. Thanks for the good read.

My favorite theory about films like this is that they are deliberate Oscar vehicles. Lavish period pieces that harken back to the glory days of the people who comprise the voting committees for the awards (ie. mostly actors and directors of a certain age); see The King's Speech as an example.

Anyhow, I'm not quite 40 yet, so this bit of weaponized nostalgia won't work on me. My recollection of the 70s is a bit vague.

Maureen Lang

Just saw this movie last weekend & you are dead on the money, Alan. Also, thanks for two film reviews in one week- a real treat. I'm inclined to agree with Stephanie's observation upthread that the pile of awards this flick is already amassing is slightly puzzling. Are voters bowled over by the "star power" cast? The screwy, skewed plot? Cooper's ringlets, Bale's paunch, Adams' oohlala? I wasn't, but who the heck knows why the movie swells vote the way they do. This is NOT the best picture of the year, though the Academy may very well deem it just that.

While watching "American Hustle" I kept returning to the thin hope of Jennifer Lawrence not becoming, courtesy of David Russell, the go-to actress for ditzy crazed sexbombs, when she was so stunningly good playing backwoods teenager Ree Dolly in "Winter's Bone." Probably hoping that in vain after this awards season. Side note: did enjoy the wink 'n nod casting of Jack Huston as the mafia guy who falls for Lawrence, considering his series-long role as Richard "Half Face" Harrow in "Boardwalk Empire."


I can't say I enjoyed American Hustle. I didn't have much sympathy for its plucky downtrodden heroes trying to make a buck where they could. I suppose I might feel differently if I came from an outsider culture. As it is, I'm far closer to Irving Rosenfeld's small time victims that I am to him.

My mother read me Br'er Rabbit as a child, and I loved those stories. I suppose the difference is this - both are hustlers but David O. Russell's are predators too. They exploit the weak and the vulnerable. I dislike that, it rankles my sense of honor.

William Fitzgerald


I don't agree. I liked the film, liked the performances, and thought the script was really good. Also, I have a large quibble with the review. To wit, Carmine Polito was mayor of Camden. Camden's the city located across the Delaware River from Philadelphia. The other place, Newark, is across the Hudson from New York. I don't think I'm being pedantic, although, in my family, I do have that rep.




I also liked the movie. It is basically the same David vs. Goliath theme as the Coen brothers' "Burn After Reading." Both movies are about small-time scammers putting one over on a corrupt and incompetent system. The former through ingenuity and the latter through bumbling.

Mark Logan


A suggestion for the SSTFC, "Ridicule", French, Fanny Ardant...among other things. Check it out.

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