March 25, 2014

american hustle

So over the past few weeks, I’ve finally had the opportunity to watch a bunch of the movies that were nominated for Oscars this year, and I thought I’d share my thoughts on them in case you’ve seen some of them, or are planning to.

American Hustle

I was probably most excited to see this one–I’m a fan of every actor in the movie, and I really loved Silver Linings Playbook, which David O. Russell also directed–but I didn’t love it as much as I’d hoped. For those who don’t know, it’s about a famous con man (Christian Bale) and his brilliant sidekick (Amy Adams) who are forced to work for an FBI agent (Bradley Cooper). Shenanigans (in amazing ’70s costumes) ensue, etc., etc. Now, don’t get me wrong: I liked it a lot, and the acting was great (Adams totally deserved that Academy Award nomination), but I thought it was about 45 minutes too long and there were a couple of times when I felt my attention waning because of that. Still, it’s a romp in the best sense of the word.


Holy amazing cinematography. I can’t even imagine seeing this movie on a theater screen in 3D; I actually felt a little off-kilter when I got up off my parents’ couch to walk to my bedroom thanks to all the spinning and crazy camera angles. Needless to say, this movie is visually stunning; the shots of Earth and the blackness of space are breathtaking–which is good, because I didn’t think the acting (or the script) was all that fantastic. George Clooney often sounded like he was just reading lines, and for a good chunk of the movie it seemed like Sandra Bullock’s main job was to breathe in a panicked manner, which started to bug after a certain point. (Her character’s tragic backstory also seemed a bit unnecessary and distracting, although it serves its purpose.) Still, it’s crazy suspenseful and, again, worth the watch for the cinematography alone.  (We’ve been watching the new iteration of Cosmos and loving it, so it was especially good timing to watch this movie thanks to my renewed interest in, you know, the universe.)

Dallas Buyers Club

“I didn’t like that movie,” I thought when it was over, but I think the truth is that the film and its subject matter took me way out of my comfort zone and I wasn’t quite sure how to feel about that (the previews, as you might suspect, are a bit different from the movie’s reality). Looking back now,  though, I think Dallas Buyers Club absolutely deserved all the critical praise it received. I also think that Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto 100 percent deserved all the awards they won for their portrayal of their characters–and I say that without taking into account their physical transformations, which will likely make you gasp. Of all of these movies, I’d say I enjoyed American Hustle most–it offers that sense of superficial escapism you sometimes crave when you go to the movies, even though the story goes deeper than that–but that Dallas Buyers Club has stayed with me the longest. It’s not exactly fun to watch, but it feels like it’s important to.

Have you seen any of these movies? Still on my list are Her (that’s No. 1), 12 Years a Slave and Philomena. Would love to hear your reviews of them and any others, as well.

  • Reply
    Rachel Sedaker
    March 25, 2014 at 1:16 pm

    American Hustle is coming to me from Netflix this week, and I’m looking forward to it (I love Christian Bale in everything). I saw 12 Years a Slave the night before the Oscars and was thrilled when it won best picture- it is absolutely deserved. At times, it’s a very hard film to watch, but an important one. And poignant considering that slavery is still a reality for millions of people (and children) today. It’s thought-provoking and the performances are breath-taking.

    • Reply
      Megan @ Pink O'Clock
      March 25, 2014 at 1:57 pm

      Ooh, I can’t wait to hear your thoughts on American Hustle. I also love Christian Bale, dating right back to his stint as Laurie in Little Women (aw). And can’t wait to see 12 Years a Slave. You are so right that slavery is still an issue today–the magazine I work for did a big piece about human trafficking specifically related to Southwest Florida in our September issue and it was eye-opening, to say the least.

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