American Hustle, the shiny retro mafia romp from The Silver Linings Playbook’s David O Russell, starring The Silver Linings Playbook’s Bradley Cooper, and The Silver Linings Playbook’s Jennifer Lawrence (and some other people) comes out next week. The title seems to suggest that there’s something particularly American about being a con artist in the seventies. As a full-on tea-drinking foul-mouthed middle class Brit, who am I to disagree with this? Here are five more titles which have taught me something about what it’s like to be from THE LAND OF THE FREE.
With a hiatus of well over a decade, Detachment is director Tony Kaye’s first feature film since American History X. A stylized indie exploration of the life of a high school substitute and the broken public school system, it’s visually very impressive and boasts a stellar cast being totally stellar. Unfortunately it insists on hurling misery at you like its disaffected teens throw the outdated resource materials in their underfunded library at each other (violently and often).
Edward Norton continues his string of underwhelming films that threatens to undermine the legacy of perhaps the finest American actor of the 90s. Writer-director Tim Blake Nelson apes the Coens with this tale of quirky criminals, but can’t match the Brothers Grim for inventiveness and assurance.