March 6, 2014 at 12:44 pm #546811
[unpublished blog piece:]
American Hustle was a marvel
to the critics, but the blogosphere’s instant reevaluation of the Best
Picture nominee has repositioned its reputation from a great film to a
divisive one. The script and direction are obvious points of
contention; however, responses to the performances have been just as
Early reviews and screening reports, like the one by Gold
Derby’s Tom O’Neil, touted supporting actress Jennifer Lawrence as the
standout of the cast and she was quickly bolstered with an award from
the New York Film Critics Circle and by being the only cast member to
receive an individual nomination from the Screen Actors Guild. Although
Steve Pond at The Wrap once reported that “If there was any kind of
unanimous verdict, it was that Jennifer Lawrence steals the show,” it
did not take long for that stance to lose unanimity. The blogosphere
cried out that Lawrence had actually been miscast, Lupita Nyong’o from 12 Years a Slave
displaced her as the Oscar frontrunner and although SAG had singled
Lawrence out from her cast with a nomination, none of the major award
shows that followed did the same.
The Golden Globes, Critics’
Choice, BAFTA and the Oscars all managed also to nominate lead actor
Christian Bale, lead actress Amy Adams and supporting actor Bradley
Cooper. Seeing as the cast went on to win the SAG Award for Best
Ensemble, perhaps Bale, Adams and Cooper would have been nominated
individually at SAG if that group had announced their nominations
later. Perhaps the film had been seen too recently for its performances
to sink in. Was Lawrence really such a standout or did she just have
weaker category competition than her co-stars?
If Lawrence is not
your cup of tea, who is? None of the other performances seems to have
been singularly well received either. Bale is the only other Oscar
winner of the cast and plays the main character, but has taken some flak
for apparently stealing the slot at the Oscars that had been reserved
for Tom Hanks of Captain Phillips. This might be indicative of
a relatively lightweight performance or it may just speak to the fierce
competition in the leading actor category.
Two of the first
reports published by Oscar bloggers in the wee small hours of the night
after the first screening (and soon after Tom O’Neil’s) were by Anne
Thompson of Indiewire and Kristopher Tapley of HitFix. Thompson praised
Adams and called Cooper “cringe-inducing;” Tapley called Adams “a weak
link” and Cooper a “true standout.” It would appear that views have
been split from the start.
Not taking into account who was in what category or if supporting actors
Jeremy Renner and Louis C.K. were snubbed, but just evaluating the film
in a vacuum with David O. Russell’s actors pitted against each other,
who do you think gave the best performance in American Hustle?March 6, 2014 at 1:30 pm #546813
Two of the first reports published by Oscar bloggers in the wee small hours of the night after the first screening (and soon after Tom O’Neil’s) were by Anne Thompson of Indiewire and Kristopher Tapley of HitFix. Thompson praised Adams and called Cooper “cringe-inducing;” Tapley called Adams “a weak link” and Cooper a “true standout.” It would appear that views have been split from the start.
Speaking of splits, Oscar Talk is no more. Kris Tapley and Anne Thompson have gone their separate ways.March 6, 2014 at 1:50 pm #546814
1. Amy Adams
2. Christian Bale
3. Jeremy Renner
4. Jennifer Lawrence
5. Louis CK
6. Bradley CooperMarch 6, 2014 at 1:56 pm #546815
1. Jennifer Lawrence
2. Amy Adams
3. Christian Bale
4. Jeremy Renner
5. Louis C.K.
6. Bradley CooperMarch 6, 2014 at 3:33 pm #546816
Amy Adams by a marathon.March 6, 2014 at 4:08 pm #546817
Bradley CooperMarch 6, 2014 at 4:11 pm #546818
Am I the only one who thought Cooper was great in this role? For me, it was him or Adams, and their chemistry worked really well.March 6, 2014 at 6:06 pm #546819
I guess he doesn’t quite get the chance to *fully* develop a character like the rest, but Renner was a real unexpected scene-stealer for me. He definitely piqued my interest more than anyone else.
Of the main quartet, I enjoyed Bale the most initially, though Adams is probably the one who has stuck best with me since then.March 6, 2014 at 7:00 pm #546820
Definitely Amy Adams.
But boy did I find Robert De Niro’s cameo compelling. His scene was the best in the film.March 7, 2014 at 6:18 am #546821
AdamsMarch 7, 2014 at 8:56 am #546822
Adams. The only character that actually resembled a human being.March 7, 2014 at 10:30 am #546823
Amy Adams for sure.March 7, 2014 at 11:35 am #546824
I also voted for Amy Adams.March 9, 2014 at 8:26 pm #546825
My problem with Adams is that she was doing that fake British accent. That was the point of it, but it still has negatively connotates her performance in my memory.
I went with Christian Bale, who I would have surely ranked ahead of Chiwetel Ejiofor and Bruce Dern on an Oscar ballot. I thought that he was better than McConaughey in Dallas Buyers Club too, but I might have given McConaughey bonus points for his other work these past couple years and also because Bale already has an Oscar.
Bradley Cooper was good, but he was just playing crazy. My favourite part was when he did his Louis C.K. impression.
Jennifer Lawrence should have beaten Lupita Nyong’o, but was miscast.
I am always surprised when Jeremy Renner gets praise for this role. The material just was not there for him.March 10, 2014 at 4:14 am #546826
A part of AH is satire and one of its themes is how easily authorities can be munipulated, so Adams’ iffy British accent makes sense, especially since those types of accute, over the top posh British accents are the only types of UK accents many Americans knew of at the time.
I just don’t believe Bale is a good actor. And despite being the lead it was a rather thankless role. Cooper was needlessly over the top, and there wasn’t much funny there at all. Lawrence was miscast and had a couple of genuinely bad moments.