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Adam Truscott Tries Again With American Hustle

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The One Where Adam Truscott Explains How His Original, (And Better), American Hustle Review Was Possibly Abducted By Aliens 

In a moment eerily similar to studios burying film stock, my review of American Hustle has vanished. It’s been buried to the annals (!) of time. Soon to be considered the cultish of cult film reviews – for a site that is the epitome of cult. Gone – but not forgotten. Buried. Buried.

It’s a review that will live in infamy.  A perfect piece of writing that even Paul Greengrass would’ve appreciated.

A review so on point. So on the money, that the rather splendid poster above would’ve been re-issued. Those five great actors, all great in this great, great film. But with speech bubbles carefully edited on, saying; “LFF Hearts Hustle”, in a cute nod to O. Russell’s previous career.

But where did it go? And how will we wangle (real word) a review out of the remnants? Well, dear readers, read on….

After a five-minute search party, Phil called the search off. It’s gone. The review is….. gone.

Theories abound in the LFF canteen ranged from the following;

Phil: Perhaps aliens, seeing the injustice of LFF still not getting the acclaim it deserves, were sent in to cease and desist the review. Fearing its potent power – they acknowledged the danger of that review getting out into the ether. Showing the other film sites what LFF is capable of when they aren’t up in their shack getting drunk. Especially with the argument you put forward about O. Russell out-Scorceseing Scorsese for much of the film. Especially the bit where you alluded to gangsters of by-gone eras appearing – via flashback – and whacking petty hoods. Especially how you said it was Bale’s finest performance – and how that opening, lingering shot on Bale’s gut changes cinema forever. And especially how you managed, with such concise discipline, to not mention Amy Adams’ boobs.

An elaborate, intriguing theory. If you replace aliens with drones, we could have a winner. FU, Amazon.

And it’s a shame as I did indeed draw Scorsese comparisons. So much so that I went back to watch Three Kings and decided that if Scorsese had ever made a war film, or an anti-war film, it would’ve bore stark similarities. Scorsese would have the taste to have Born In The USA (the most mis-understood song, ever) on the soundtrack, mind. I won’t hold that against O. Russell, though. Hustle has a killer soundtrack.

The gangster scene that Phil alludes too is a tent pole moment in the film. It’s my first truly WTF moment in a cinema for a long time. Possible since that neck break. Its glorious – and a reminder that O. Russell is carving himself out a niche in the market, that only QT can touch, for me. He’s saving careers. Possibly lives. And they’re the right careers. I’ll always owe him for what he did for De Niro in Linings. Overrated or not, he got some serious acting from that cast – and Hustle is the next level up.

Bale could become his muse – which considering their propensity to “bully cast members” is a scary, scary thought. (For what its worth – I’m on Team Bale, here. O. Russell, I’m less sure? If it’s accurate that he head butted Clooney – well, that’s just rock n’ roll. But if reports are true they now appreciate each others work, then I’m a happy fan boy. Bale, Clooney and Di Caprio in the next one please, David. Bale and Clooney could compare capes).

You get Renner in a role that the more you ponder it, is possibly the strongest performance, too. And you get Cooper. What a run this boy is on. Pines is going to grow to be a stone cold classic. And he steals the movie – rightly so. Here, amongst Bale (a powerhouse), he holds his own, too. His idea to have a pivotal phone conversation with curlers in his hair is demented genius.

But back to the theories. Where did that review go? Was it stolen by Den Of Geek? Empire? Total Film? Anythings possible.

Over to you, Deano;

SLD: Well. There is a simple theory here. You were up in your (love) shack, getting drunk. You hit delete and the review was gone. You’d gone over the  strict 1000 word count Phil instills with an iron first (and silky, velvet glove). It’s no big loss. By being a massive girl about the Greengrass thing, you missed a Gravity review. I’m surprised Philip let you back in the fold. PS Did you like my Secret Santa?

Deano. Elegant as ever. Putting me right back in my box. She has a point, as ever, of course. It wassprawling. Much like the film. there was even a rant in there about Ed Norton letting me, (and you), down with his career. How it’s incomprehensible to me that someone can do the triple threat of American History X, Fight Club and (best of the lot), 25th Hour. Then nothing. He’s done a De Niro. Taken his want to be the next best Actor of the entire Universe too literally. But at least he got there for one glorious spell. And he also created one of my favourite quotes of all time;

“I’d pay to watch De Niro and Brando read the telephone book”.

Damn straight. We should get that tattooed. And the same must’ve applied to all of the guys and gals on show here. JLaw (Not Jude Law, MPW), must’ve thought that. She strolls in like Sharon Stone in Casino (much like Deano does at every Christmas Party, actually), and chomps the stage up. Because this is theatre. And the calibre is top notch. So Lawerence is eating stage left, and chewing stage right. Getting her key lines cut (Best example yet of a quotable line not making the film? They’ll be teasing us for years there’s a DC buried somewhere under the A-27). It’s all there. Yes, she looks too young. But she’s outstanding – and O. Russell keeps those Scorsese links going.

But it’s Bale’s film. No question. Lingering on his gut for so long it gets uncomfortable, we then follow him over to the dresser. Introducing: The Wig. That and the gut deserve the Special Effects Oscar – sorry, Gravity. So when De Niro stopped by for a set visit, he was introduced to Bale. “Who’s that?”, he asked O. Russell. “Um. Oscar Winner, Christian Bale. He of Internet fame for shouting at the lighting guy.” De Niro allegedly nodded in approval. From Bateman, to Batman, to that. That’s an evolutionary progression.

See Hustle this weekend. Because anyone who’s anyone will be seeing the film of the year next Friday. And possibly, if they can meld time, ensuring they do it with a double bill of 12 Years A Slave. I’m marking next Friday as my favourite day in a  cinema for a long, long, time. Which is ironic as with those two, I’ll be in the cinema for a long, long time.


I’d just like to add that when I doodled this here review —> *HERE*, I never expected it to lead to an self imposed exile. If you’ve not heard, a friend of mine knows Greengrass’s Sister. Showed her the review – and the response came back  that Greengrass was intrigued (my word), by my fascination with him in his pants. In terms of life changing moments it now looks like this; Kids > United > Wife > Greengrasses pants. Thanks for pulling me back in, O. Russell. (Just when I thought I was out, too).

See you on the other side. I’m off to watch Limitless. It’s that or bury my head in the sand that De Niro is trying to ruin the career O. Russell has given back to him. Seriously, Grudge Match? Ugh.


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