Listen to this week’s M&M Report here.
This week on The M&M Report, Devin Mitchell and I were honored and thrilled to speak with RogerEbert.com film critic Susan Wloszczyna. She shared plenty of great stories about interviewing celebrities as wide-ranging as George Clooney, Amy Adams, Peter O’Toole, Mel Brooks and Wes Anderson, among dozens of others. Plus, she offered insights on the business of film criticism and the state of modern movies.
Perhaps the biggest pleasure of the enormously pleasurable American Hustle is watching four of the finest living movie stars sink their teeth into meaty roles and have more fun than you’re ever likely to have. Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper, Amy Adams and Jennifer Lawrence make up the movie’s central quartet of lovable conmen and conmen wannabes, each apparently engaging in a contest to see which one can generate the most onscreen sparks. Anchored by this magnificent quartet, director David O. Russell’s follow-up to last year’s Oscar winning romance Silver Linings Playbook is overlong, narratively confounding, tonally precarious and utterly exhilarating.
Though the story is inspired by the FBI’s utterly insane Abscam sting, which claimed four senators and one representative in the late 1970s, an amusing introductory title card makes Russell’s intentions quite clear. “Some of this actually happened,” the card reads, absolving the movie of any pesky adherence to historical fact. The movie revels in this freedom. It’s not a documentary, nor does it pretend to be. Rather, as scripted by Russell and Eric Singer, it’s an exploration of four characters searching for their own identities even as they assume others.