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Dec 22 2013

Podcast: American Hustle & Her

Nick,KateyandJoejoinNathanielto wish you all a very happy holiday week.We begin by talking about David O.Russell'sAmerican Hustle.Katey wishes the movie had applied itself more,Joe doesn't believe a second of it,but Nathaniel and Nick enjoy the fun groovy chaos quite a lot more.We're split on Jennifer Lawrence's showboating,three of us think Bradley Cooper is amazing but the podcast quickly turns into an Amy Adams ♥fest.(Shout-outs to Saïd Taghmaoui and Michael Peña,too)

We also discuss Spike JonzeHerand its lovely script and performances.The Scarlett Johansson/Samantha Morton business on the voicework is also on the menu.Do we thinkHerhits its themes too hard or just right?And would we wear its futuristic fashions?

PLEASE NOTE: If you're spoiler averse you might want to skip one minute from 18:00- 19:00

You can listen to the podcast right here at the bottom of the postor download the conversation on iTunes.

Her Hustlin' Holiday

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Reader Comments (29)

That's right,Amy FUCKING Adams.Definitely the MVP for me,too.And still not getting why she isn't getting nominated for things left and right.Hoping for a big surprise come Oscar morning.

December 22,2013 | Unregistered CommenterJordan

Jennifer Lawrence is MVP for me.Adams is fantastic too,she's more consistent (with the exception of the accent,which I think was intentional?) but Lawrence wins due to the sheer watchability of her performance.Even after the cleaning scene,which I think is the beginning of where her performance gets messy,she's still going for it and that was a joy for me to watch.Both outshine their male counterparts,but I agree that Bradley Cooper is amazing and the best of the men.Still a really strong ensemble,though.

December 22,2013 | Unregistered Commenterthefilmjunkie

Finally,people get Amy Adams in this.

December 22,2013 | Unregistered CommenterPaul Outlaw

So I saw American Hustle and as much as I love J.Law -- I do think it's the Amy Adams show and she does a damn good job with such a schizo character.I was with her the whole time.It'd be sad if she didn't get her first lead nomination for this,it would be a perfect reward.

December 22,2013 | Unregistered CommenterBia

Christian Bale was easily the MVP for me.Total transformation.

December 22,2013 | Unregistered Commenterbrandz

Not that I don't love you,but had to point out that Keener (54) is further from Joaquin's age (39) than Rooney Mara (28).Not sure if it's more than JP looks older or Keener and Mara look younger.

December 22,2013 | Unregistered CommenterMarsha Mason

the battle of the MVPs!

December 22,2013 | Unregistered Commentermarcelo

Thanks guys for the podcast!
Happy Holidays,everyone!

December 22,2013 | Unregistered CommenterJames T

Glad to hear Amy is great in this.

Based on The Figher,I had expected DOR to bring more fantastic performances from Bale and Adams,but was worried a little based on early reviews saying Amy was the weak link.

December 22,2013 | Unregistered CommenterAnonny

Aw happy holidays!This podcast was sweet.Team Nathaniel/Nick on both movies,and Nathaniel's way of describingAmerican Hustleas a Judy+Mickey movie is just perfect.That kind of movie stars in a play pen feeling is probably my favorite thing about the movie.I was laughing so hard that people were turning around in the theater to glare at me.So happy to hear the love for Amy Adams here.I agree that she was genuinely great in both films.

December 22,2013 | Unregistered CommenterTB

I saw American Hustle last night and Jennifer Lawrence was absolutely the MVP for me....an amazing performance.Amy Adams lost steam during the second half of the show as far as I was concerned but I still believe that it's the women that shined brightest.It's just that Lawrence shined brightest of all.

December 22,2013 | Unregistered CommenterSile

nathaniel,I haven't heard the podcast,so sorry if you mentioned this,but are you going to post a review for "american hustle"?

December 22,2013 | Unregistered Commentermarcelo

I thought American hustle was a boring mess.The hair and costumes belonged in an snl skit.Jennifer Lawrence was...interesting?

December 22,2013 | Unregistered CommenterTy

Adding to the Battle of MVPs:
Amy Adams and Christian Bale were mine in this,pretty much equally fantastic.They both owned the movie.Hurrah!@ the Amy love :D
Renner is easily next.It's a bit of a shame he's not getting more attention for this - yes,the part is small,but he's fantastic in it.JLaw was also very good.But I wasn't feeling Cooper at all.:(

I agree the small parts were excellent.Especially Elisabeth Röhm.

December 22,2013 | Unregistered CommenterPitry

Yikes,I m gonna be in the very small minority and say that I did not like American Hustle all that much.It was too messy for me and I did not feel like the director had full command over the chaos like I felt when I watched Moulin Rouge or Requiem for a dream.A hughly stylized movie still needs to feel solid and this felt flimsy.For me at least.

That said,I adored Amy Adams in this.She is so sexy and vulnerable and brings a very difficult sensitivity to her character.She has never looked or acted better and is by a huge margin the MVP here.She deserves a nomination for this - no doubt.
Renner was second best and he is very underrated in this.I guess all the showier performances are overshadowing him but along with adams he offers a rare three dimensional character.
I hated hated hated Jennifer Lawrence.She is a complete caricature in this and I did not enjoy her on screen at all.I dreaded her scenes because I felt the overacting was just too much for me.The character has nothing genuine about it and as Nicole Kidman proved last year,it takes real talent and mastery to ace a trashy woman character.JLaw fails horribly imo and I don't understand how everyone is intoxicated by this little girl.Bale is also painful to watch because all the costuming is distracting and Cooper ...Oh boy...Does anyone know how to play over the top more than him?Maybe jennifer lawrence.But these too basically continued their silver lining crazy act with costume and make up.I respect it worked for other people but I hated it.

December 22,2013 | Unregistered CommenterTony T

American Hustle is a movie where I don't think any of the principles are bad in any way to pick apart and use against the others.It's like The Avengers for me.Why should I pick one if each of their biggest skill-sets,some of which we have never seen before,are being so well-exploited?But the most pleasant surprise for me was Bale.I knew Amy and Jennifer both had it in them and Cooper's whole Catholic background ever so subtly told who that character was on a personal level while his Hangover legacy told everything about his work life.

December 22,2013 | Unregistered CommenterCMG

Her might be the first film ever to underestimate how different the future will be.I loved the Production and Costume Design and would love (and not be totally surprised) to see them get nominations.The score too.And like Katey,I loved Joaquin's facial reactions and Amy Adams's extremely warm performance.

I rewatched the film this afternoon,however,and found that it didn't hold up as well as I had hoped.The theme seemed a little belabored and some of the jokes (the dead cat,for instance) stuck out tonally.

For American Hustle,it's my favorite DOR film of his past three and the first where I didn't walk away wishing that the supporting characters had been the focus of the film instead of the leads.The plot was nonsensical (I'm supposed to believe that the FBI couldn't figure out that AA's character wasn't actually British?),but like Nathaniel I just went with it and had a great time.

December 23,2013 | Unregistered CommenterEvan

And great outro music,by the way.It'd probably get my vote for the best Christmas song of all-time,but it definitely wins the "best Christmas song from the movies"competition for me.

Merry Christmas to all!

December 23,2013 | Unregistered CommenterEvan

Just sawAmerican Hustleand have to join the folks feeling quite meh about it.That weird combover scene to start it was such bold and bizarre choice,and then it seemed the movie was played a little too down the middle.Two movies maybe: some really wacky actor-y stuff,then really conventional plotting and music choices and too much explanation.I guess I'm like whoever that said there's a good movie in there,if only DOR could whittle the rest out.

And what kind of late 70s movie lacks copious Marsha Mason references?!‽‽

December 23,2013 | Unregistered CommenterMarsha Mason

Boo!I was so excited to listen to the podcast while traveling today for the holidays but it seems it won't download to an iPhone unless from iTunes :( anybody know another way to download it for the site?It says it can't when I click the link in the post.

December 23,2013 | Unregistered CommenterSteve

Finally saw AH and LOVED it,but then I'm partial to period pieces,heist and con movies,and don't mind lengthy movies.Amy Adams gets my vote for MVP (with Christian Bale as runner-up) but the three folks with me loved Jennifer Lawrence.That girl certainly is a movie star,with or without media attention;she lights up the screen unlike any other young actor (male or female) I've seen recently and her appeal transcends generations (we're all over 40--so not the young "JLaw/Katniss"obsessed fans).

At the least,I'd like to see Amy Adams get nominated for an Oscar but don't think she would win over Cate Blanchett.Really surprised she didn't get a SAG nom.She definitely should have got in there over Judi Dench.

December 23,2013 | Unregistered CommenterPam

I likedHerquite a bit (I didn't love it).I'm more towards Nathaniel and Nick.Cosign everything Nathaniel said re: this being a short film.Also,and I'm not sure it's fair to levy this charge against this movie more than the system that creates this way of thinking,but I'm not sure how much I'm meant to connect with this.I mean...this movie,which takes place in the not too distant future features like no people of color.And it's not fair to Spike Jonze.Anyone who feels connected to this movie or Wes Anderson's movies or...evenEternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mindwhich is a movie that I love and is one of my favorite movies of all time...good for you.I'm happy that you're finding a movie that speaks to you so well and I'm glad when any movie can do that for anyone even if I happen to disagree.There are just timing and mood factors that dictate the degrees to which I'm able to get swept up in and connect to a movie made by a filmmaker that (based on his films) seems content to pretend that I (and people who look like me) don't exist or are somehow not complex or interesting enough to be worth bothering with.Sorry,Herand Spike Jonze.You caught me at a moment of particularly heightened double consciousness.Maybe I'll be able to watch the movie again and enjoy it more at another time.

December 23,2013 | Unregistered CommenterThe Pretentious Know It All

Happy holidays and thanks so much for putting in all the hard work on these every week,guys.Love listening,love your insights and especially love your senses of humor.(Also love hearing you guys get it right so often - I'm shocked we aren't hearing universal praise for Amy Adams in American Hustle.)

December 23,2013 | Unregistered Commentereurocheese

Love that people are giving Adams so much love since I thought she was best in show despite being abandoned by the screenplay in the 2nd half.And while I find Lawrence's performance so movie-starry watchable,after a second viewing,I do think some of her choices to go that big in the performance makes for an at times somewhat messy performance and it does take me out of the film as a whole at times which lessens the effect of her performance for me as I find myself not knowing whether I ended up loving her now or overwhelmed by her performance.I still think all the men are solid but clearly the women were the highlight for me.

December 23,2013 | Unregistered CommenterKa show.While I i Lor

steve -- sorry about that.i have no idea what i tunes is doing but literally on the day i was editing they sent notice "no podcasts can be uploaded this week"BOO

December 23,2013 | Unregistered CommenterNathanielR

It's a good film but distended and unevenly paced.Bale and Lawrence act like they're doing an SNL skit.She's too baby-faced and fresh to play a Movie Broad.


December 23,2013 | Unregistered CommenterAlfred

Lawrence's age wasn't a distraction for me.Bale's character makes a direct reference to her being a young girl with a kid and that was all I needed.They didn't totally avoid it like they did in SLP (which also didn't bother me),but they didn't make it a big deal either.In the world of "16 & Pregnant"is it really so hard to believe that 23 year old Jennifer Lawrence could have a,what,5 year old son?Besides,her youth worked for the character's immaturity.

December 23,2013 | Unregistered Commenterthefilmjunkie

About Jennifer Lawrence's age in regards to Silver Linings.I heard Sarah Silverman on a podcast talk about how she auditioned for that part and her agent called her back and said they cast someone twenty years younger...ha.I do think Lawrence overcomes the age thing in both films though,other issues aside.

December 23,2013 | Unregistered CommenterTy

This movie was somewhat entertaining,but it was too long and definitely not award material.My favorites were J Lawrence and J Renner.I dont know why AA was played up so much.She played her role fine but it wasn't exceptional.When your costume outperforms you,there's a problem.Christian Bale was good.

January 11,2014 | Unregistered Commenterliz

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