On the Oscars & American Hustle

The LA Times recently rounded up the annual Oscar nominees with their predictions. On deserving films for this year’s Academy Awards, here’s my view:

I loathed American Hustle. O’Russell is hugely, vastly over-appreciated in my never-humble view. Like his similarly over-praised Silver Linings Playbook, American Hustle is a lot of yelling and screaming and repetition. At least forty minutes too long. He tips his hand at the very opening of the picture when we spend too, too much time with Christian Bale fussing with his hairpiece.  A few minutes later, the Bradley Cooper character yanks the toupee off Bale’s head. Do we really need to reminded that he wears a rug?  Wouldn’t it have been smarter to skip the opening with the toupee and have the whole conceit revealed in the latter scene with Cooper? It’s not that big a deal all by itself, but nothing’s all by itself in a movie.

Every little thing is part of the whole picture. If he’s so inefficient and uneconomical here, by squandering lots of time and delivering precious little story and character freight here, it bodes ill for the rest of the movie. If this section is twice as long as it ought to be, so also will be (and is) the movie.

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