Tuesday, 25 February 2014

A Pinoy At The Movies: American Hustle

If I had to pick three scenes that I'd never forget from this movie, they would be:

One, Christian Bale showing off his big belly. So very un-Batman.

Two, Amy Adams showing off her cleavage in almost all the scenes. In Doubt, she was all covered as a nun and in Enchanted, she was also covered up as a princess running around New York City in a gown.

Three, the disco scene at Studio 54 that started off with Donna Summer's I Feel Love, and ending up with Amy Adams and Bradley Cooper dancing to Don't Leave Me This Way was like a scene out of Saturday Night Fever

American Hustle is a comedy with great acting and characters, and lots of scam and con artists. If you were born in that decade or later, and wanted to know how men and women dressed up and looked during that decade, this movie would show you how it was, plus the music!

A few weeks ago, when they announced the nominees for the 2014 Academy Awards, I wondered when this film was going to be shown in Seoul. I had to watch the movie before March 2, 2014, the Oscar's night as American Hustle received a lot of nominations including Best Picture. At that time, I couldn't find any theater showing it. But luckily, without any intention of squeezing a movie into my weekend, I was able to catch it at a neighborhood CGV cinema.

              (Crowds in Myeong-dong during the weekend)
I was rushing from Myeongdong when I decided I needed to watch all the Oscar-nominated films before they all finish their runs in Seoul. That night, after the Mass at the cathedral, I was almost distracted from the idea. As usual, Myeongdong was full of shoppers and tourists, but last weekend, there were k-pop fans, too. 

          (A k-pop boy band performing in Myeong-dong)

Right in the middle of the main alley, was a stage which looked liked an open bus, and on top of it, was a k-pop boy band dancing and singing, while their fans were....well, screaming! Ha-ha-ha! I just stopped by for a couple of minutes to take a photo, and then headed off to CGV. I had a date with the 70's!

I don't know which of its ten nominations would bring it an Oscar. But win or lose, it is a must-see film.Their performances were amazingly good and funny. Christian Bale had to fatten himself with 40 pounds more to be a scam artist, Amy Adams had to display her cleavage without any qualms, and Jennifer Lawrence, last year's Oscar best actress, played a tough 70's housewife complete with nail polish and ignorance on how not to use a microwave oven. Bradley Cooper and Jeremy Renner completed the lead cast.

I am not sure if Amy Adams would have an edge over the Oscar favorite (and mine!) Cate Blanchett for the best actress. Amy Adams's co-star in Enchanted, by the way, was an unfamiliar face to me that time, Idina Menzel, whose Let It Go has been very popular this winter season. She'll be singing that song at the Oscars. Now that it's spring, I hope that's the last time I'd hear that tune.

So, if you still have time before the Oscars on Sunday night in the U.S., or Monday morning in Korea, do catch American Hustle. Who knows? You'd pick up a trick or two from these scammers.


  1. Haha, that was Kpop idol group BTOB (who are currently promoting) that you saw, they are one of my favorite new Kpop group! :) anyway, the casting of this movie are all interesting! Cannot wait to watch the movie as well! and I love Idina Menzel even way before she became famous for singing Let it Go in Frozen as she is one of the original cast of Broadway's Wicked (Defying Gravity) playing the role of the wicked witch of the west, Elphaba as well as Maureen Johnson in Rent :))


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    2. Thanks, Yan, for educating me on k-pop bands. Ha-ha-ha! They seem to all look the same to me. When I met 'Miss A' a few years back, I had to ask their names individually because I didn't know. Hope you'd catch American Hustle soon. Enjoy!