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The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News


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COLUMN: ‘American Hustle’ tells true story with proficient cast

Sia DeyKoontz
Cam’ron Hardy

Released in 2013, “American Hustle” tells the true story of Melvin Weinberg, an American con-artist who transitioned into a federal government informant.

Irving Rosenfield (Christian Bale), based on Weinberg, sells forged paintings and is a loan shark with his girlfriend Sydney Prosser (Amy Adams).

After attempting to con undercover FBI agent Richie DiMaso (Bradley Cooper), Rosenfield and Prosser get roped into working with the federal government.

By imitating feelings for DiMaso, Prosser hopes the idea will assist her and Rosenfield’s long-term plan to get out of the relationship with the FBI.

The film is stacked with A-List actors such as Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro, Jeremy Renner and more.

Adams and Bale were the leading forces of the film.

Bale changed his physical appearance for the role and played his role well, as expected.

Bale is known for going to extended lengths for his characters. For his 2004 film “The Machinist,” Bale lost around 60 pounds.

For this character, he gained 43 pounds.

According to, Bale said, “I ate lots of doughnuts, a whole lot of cheeseburgers and whatever I could get my hands on. I literally ate anything that came my way. I was about 185 [pounds] and went up to 228.”

His character did not require him to demonstrate an expansive range of emotion but with the conflicts involved with his character, he displayed an entertaining performance.

Prossers’ conflicting personalities among Rosenfield and DiMaso can leave audience members wondering whose side she is really on.

We are told early on that she is only faking her attraction towards DiMaso, but at times, it seems very real. On multiple occasions, she seduces him, and her body language towards him is believable.

One of the main reasons why the attraction feels so intimate is because the idea that she is only faking it is not brought up after the first time.

Clearly, Adams’ performance is very authentic.

Rosenfield never asks for reassurance, and their relationship seems to dismantle throughout the film. But at the end, they come back together in their intended manner.

It is not surprising that they join back together, but the full circle moment brings everything together nicely.

With such a stacked cast, the budget and the quality of the film was not surprising.

The budget for the film was $40 million, and it made $150.1 million domestically at the box office, according to

Cinematography wise, the shots were customary. There was nothing too outstanding with the shots throughout the film for the most part; however, some of the close-up shots were nice touches.

The film stated that some of the events presented actually happened, and with further research, most of the events presented were exaggerated for entertainment purposes.

According to, Weinberg was caught in a scam where he would tell people that for the price of $1,000, he would use his connections to help others get loans from an overseas bank.

The scam in it all was that neither the bank nor his connections were real people. He would tell people that he could not help them with their loan and explain to them that he could not offer them a refund.

One of the biggest changes in the film that was different from real life was that Rosenfield and Prosser were sentenced to three years in prison when they were first caught by DiMaso, according to

In the field, Prosser was put into holding and Rosenfield was free, then later DiMaso presented them with the opportunity to be informants.

Another modification made in “American Hustle” was that there was no love triangle between the characters. This was a nice addition for the film to keep viewers interested.

Having only the real storyline presented to audience probably would have been boring and underwhelming, so the extra fabrication was an essential part in allowing this film to be successful.

Similarly, the minor conflict between Rosenfield and Prosser was not necessary, but again, it was an addition that assisted the film to progress.

Overall, there was nothing wrong with the film. Untold/uncommon stories such as these are always great to see being put on the big screen.

There can not be much changed in the film, since it is based on a true story, but the additional situations to keep the movie entertaining was necessary.

There was nothing too outstanding and over the top with the film in general to give it a perfect rating, but nonetheless the story was entertaining.

Rate: 4/5


Cam’ron Hardy can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].

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Cam'ron Hardy
Cam'ron Hardy, News Editor
Cam'ron is a junior journalism major. He previously served news editor and campus editor at The News. 

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