This movie was one of my most anticipated come this awards season so naturally I went to see it on opening day. My theatre was packed and most cinema goers were excited to see what director David O’Russell and his stellar cast had created.
My reaction: slightly disappointed though extremely entertained.
The movie begins at a weird point and then jumps back a bit in the timeline without the viewer realising. The pacing is great throughout but the beginning seemed a little rushed. For the visuals, lots of yellow colours and 70s sets make this a great film to look at, David O’Russell doesn’t waste any shot and makes each one interesting and well thought out.
For the acting, Bale was phenomenal. He displays range in an actor rarely seen on screen these days and really draws you into his performance. Cooper played a character who was a angry, aggressive an a little crazy at some stages and shows that he can do a lot more than comedy as proved by this film and Silver Linings Playbook. Amy Adams is phenomenal playing a character with multiple egos and she simply lights up the screen. Her English accent is impeccable and she blends the personas of Sidney and Edith into one complex individual who is a little lost in regards to where she wants to be. Jeremy Renner plays the most likeable character and you generally feel sorry for him when conned by Bale and co. He portrays a mayor at the centre of a financial scam and he believes he is just doing business. Renner’s best performance since The Town.
But the real woman who everybody in my theatre couldn’t get enough of was Jennifer Lawrence. What an actress. She brings humour, warmth and charm to a movie that needs all three. She is glowing on screen and provides an excellent moral compass for Bale’s character Irving. One point she does a mad karaoke dance to Paul McCartney’s classic, Live And Let Die and it is one of the funniest scenes in cinema this year.
But as far as the story went, I wasn’t completely engaged in where it was going and what the stakes were. The movie didn’t seem too concerned with the story telling aspect. I loved the characters and their intricacies but generally I found the plot a little lacking and I just wanted to see some more mad antics from Bale, Adams, Cooper, Renner and especially Lawrence.
Some of the personas in this film are shocking and Bradley Cooper’s FBI agent is especially unpredictable and grows more so as the film progresses. He wasn’t an extremely likeable character which I thought was a great choice to make the film more balanced by O’Russell because the rest of the cast are so amiable in their roles that it could make it a little one sided if Cooper’s character was this way as well.
The soundtrack is appropriate for the time it is set ala the 70s and it provides a good beat and rhythm to the events unfolding on screen. Where the plot is lacking, O’Russell makes up for it in genuine laughs and pure entertainment from the 5 main actors. A brilliantly acted and directed film with each line delivered perfectly and not going to waste but as a whole, the general story was lacking. Still I recommend this movie whole heatedly and I believe it should get nominated and quite possibly win a few acting related Oscars come awards season.