American Hustle Performance Divides Critics and Audiences

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American Hustle has received many SAG ,Critics’ Choice and Golden Globe nominations. Now with the movie expanding its release, everyone has an opinion on it.  The last couple of years David O’Russell became a trusted director for making buzzworthy films. Both The Fighter and Silver Linings Playbook did well critically and racked up many awards. Therefore, American Hustle is almost guaranteed critic success.

Despite the Oscar buzz, the press has been heavily focusing on Jennifer Lawrence and her involvement in the film. She currently holds the  Hollywood ‘It’ girl status, because of the Hunger Game franchise success, and her Oscar win for Silver Linings Playbook. Though Lawrence’s role is more of a minor one compared to Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Bradley Cooper and Jeremy Renner, many of the films trailers heavily focus on Lawrence’s character, Rosalyn. A definite smart marketing strategy based on Lawrence’s proven box office success. Understandably this causes people to become more critical of Lawrence’s performance than others in the film.

Most critics have praised Lawrence for bringing such an unlikable character to life in a believable way. She adds dimensions to a character who could have been cartoonish. The Boston Herald, RogerEbert.com and Louisville all have called Lawrence a “scene-stealer” in American Hustle.  However, some critics say that might not necessarily be a good thing. The NY Post says that Lawrence “badly over plays” her character. The Wire tried to tread lightly with its criticism of Lawrence’s performance but, eventually, had this to say about it:

“Lawrence embarks upon a Zellwegerian Cold Mountain march to the sea, trampling all other scene partners in her path, towards what certainly looks to be an Oscar nomination, maybe even another win. Girl goes big, but despite whatever accolades come her way, it’s a miscalculation, and kind of an embarrassing one.”

The audience of the film are even more divided. On the Entertainment Weekly‘s review for the movie, one user said, “she steals the scene due to some sloppy, brassy ‘look at me, over-acting.”

On the positive side on an HItFix article, one user had this to say about Jennifer Lawrence’s performance:


American Hustle itself seems to be causing the same type of critical division. That’s expected with any major film.  Additionally, bad reviews of Lawrence’s performance  probably won’t deter fans of Lawrence, O’Russell, or any of the cast and crew, from seeing this film.

For proof, look to Twitter, which is full of comments like these about Lawrence being in American Hustle: 



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American Hustle Performance Divides Critics and Audiences
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  • prasad

    I am from India.Waiting for American Hustle to be released in India.Many of my friends in America says Jennifer Lawrence was great,but Amy Adams was also great.Amy got nominated for four Oscars ,but this time Amy might win an Oscar FINGERS CROSSED

  • Andrea

    Jennifer Lawrence does steal the show in American Hustle. The minute you are reminded how brilliant Christian Bale is, Lawrence comes on the screen and you are immediately drawn to her. You find yourself missing some of the dialog because you find yourself wondering when Rosalyn will speak next. Since Lawrence’s part was so small, I do see a lot of people seeing American Hustle in theaters multiple times to get their Jennifer Lawrence Fix!

  • Janice Patrick

    The only thing good about American Hustle was Jennifer Lawrence. Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence should have played the parts of Amy Adams and Christian Bale. The fact that Christian B. WOULD chose Amy A. OVER jENNIFER Lawrence made the movie totally unbelievable!!!!!!!!

  • Bk

    That is utter bullshit. I’m a Lawrence fan. She’s a brilliant actress but too many people are watching American Hustle with the J.Law bias. I’v never been an Amy Adams fan but she gave the best and most convincing performance in American Hustle.
    Lawrence gather Rosalyn life but took her performance from funny and believable to outright absurd.
    I like Lawrence, I’m a fan but I think it’s absolutely unfair that the J.Law bias is not letting people appreciate Amy Adams performance. She was absolutely brilliant!

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