Do you realise all the stars in this film were born in the 70s or after, not counting the one in cameo: Robert De Niro. This is a tic-tac-toe situational drama:a move for a move kinda film. It was a bit long, cause 3/4 to the film, I was so ready for the grand finale. The premise was nothing but one verb, two actions: cheat, or be cheated. So you think the government want high employment numbers for the good of the population or your family, think again! Just remember without collected taxes, there will be no politicians…
Obviously the transformation Christian Bale took was mind-boggling, especially in stark contrast to his role in The Machinist. Irving Rosenfeld (Christian Bale) is a small time con-artist in New Jersey during the Disco 70s. He owns several cleaners to launder his “dirty” money. Then it comes his love-at-first-sight’s Sydney Prosser(Amy Adams) at a party, where they share their first cut of a Duke Wellington’s album, practically undressed (perfect camera work). Sydney’s past might not have been the brightest, but she certainly climbs her way up, and she knows how to sell! They become business partners, cause Irving already has a charming wife and son at home, Rosalyn Rosenfeld(Jennifer Lawrence) and Danny Rosenfeld(Danny Corbo and Sonny Corbo). Irving is her meal ticket.
Irving and Sydney’s business model is to make money on service fees, but screw the service! They are loan broker. She has connection with a bank in England: The Lady Edith’s Bank. While the business is soaring, it gets the attention of rookie FBI special agent Richie DiMaso(Bradley Cooper), who wants to use them as the steps on the ladder that he is climbing. A gung-ho smart-ass of an agent that slaps his boss dazed and confused, Stoddard Thorsen(Louis C.K.). Richie wants Irving and Sydney to entrap the alleged corrupted Jersey Mayor, Carmine Polito(Jeremy Renner).
You will learn at the start of the movie that some of this happened, which makes it more interesting.
Since this is a situational drama, the fun of watching is listening between the lines, and following the actors’ eyes and subtle cues. Remember this is a film about deceptions, so believe what you want to believe, but treat them all as used car salesmen! And as we know the best salesperson is one best actor on earth! Vice versa.
Here are my comments about the actors:
Renner: bad hair day ruins; Bale: why so serious? ; Adams: getting serious, good4her! she will get an Oscar nom; Cooper: your pretty face distracts; Lawrence: she cannot be intimidated by anyone; De Niro: over-exposed; C.K.: funny man.
WATCH…It’s going to get a lot of nominations, so don’t fall behind. Avoid the HUH?!