20 Things You Learn From Watching ‘American Hustle’ a Second Time

I hope I’m not the only person out there that was a little confused the first time they watched “American Hustle.” I mean, I get the plot (at least I think I do), but did you find yourself feeling a little unsatisfied when you came out of the theater? Oh good, me too. It’s a great film, but I think some things get lost in translation the first time you see it. That’s why I had to buy it on DVD and watch it again to make sure I was appreciating it. And guess what! It worked! Here are 20 things you will learn after re-watching “American Hustle”:

20. Is Christian Bale using the 1970s version of hair gel in the very beginning on the movie when he’s doing his hair? Because for some reason the whole hair thing makes so much more sense to me now.

19. The backtracking at the beginning is actually perfect because it sets up the whole idea that B. Coop’s character is trying to get these politicians to fall into his trap of taking illegal money from random people like himself, Bale, and Adams. Genius.

18. Jennifer Lawrence’s character basically has no point other then to entertain and, well, be her being herself. The story totally works with or without her.

17. Amy Adams worked at Cosmo? How the hell did she swing that?

16. So Amy Adam’s character never really liked Bradley, right? She was just using him to stick to her and Bale’s original plan. Oh my gosh. Duh.

15. Adam’s character isn’t actually British. She’s just pretending to be so people will think she’s legit and will want to take financial advice from her.

14. Bradley’s character is basically doing this whole operation to get the glory. Which is why he is kind of crazy.

13. The Arab guy is there to make it look like their scam is legit because it’s an honor to be given money from someone who probably has power in the Middle East? Maybe it’s also seen as peaceful to accept money from someone like that.

12. Bale is annoyed with Cooper for the entire movie not because he’s annoying (which he is), but because he knows eventually they are going to screw him over and he’s getting impatient waiting to pull the rug out from under him.

11. Renner’s character is used because he was looking for money to fund the rebuilding of Atlantic City, which seems shady as is, so he’s already a risky politician and it seems totally convincing that Renner would deal in illegal activity to get that money.

10. All of the characters actually narrate exactly what they are doing, but you don’t notice the first time because you’re too busy wondering when Jennifer Lawrence is going to show up again and what the point of her character is.

9. Bale becomes friends with Renner so they can actually pull off the plan because Cooper’s character scared him because he’s so crazy.

8. Lawrence’s character is actually depressed. That’s why she’s so evil.

7. They actually mention that what they are doing is in fact “Ab Scam.”

6. Although they have zero scenes together, Cooper and Lawrence talk on the phone briefly.

5. There are mentions of the mob, but they are not directly connected to the Ab Scam. Lawrence is the one who gets involved with one of the mob leaders and it’s only to piss her husband off. They act like the mob is involved only to make the scam seem more real.

4. It’s kind of obvious that Lawrence’s character has no idea what she’s doing. She just wants attention, which is why the film works with or without her character.

3. Bradley Cooper’s character Richie is actually the worst. In the end it seems like he’s the one who is corrupt. And how did he not know that Amy Adams was faking the whole British Edith thing? He was an FBI guy! However, he was smart enough to ask the question, “Why did you need the accent?” Bale’s character ultimately has more morals in the end too because he decides to tell Renner the truth.

2. When they say “We got to get over all these guys” they mean that Bale and Adams are going to be the clear “winners” of sorts in the end.

1. Cooper wants to have the suite at the Plaza Hotel to bring the mob and politicians together to make it look really sketchy and ultimately proving it is definitely illegal for these politicians (like Renner) to be taking strange money. In the end though Bale reminds Cooper that what he was trying to do wasn’t even the big time. Bale and Adams were much too smart for him in the end and he was in way over his head. The mob never took any of the 2 million dollars Bale and Adams tricked Cooper into giving back, so they couldn’t be made and come after Lawrence and her son. When you really think about it David O. Russell’s script is pretty smart and at times really funny. You just have to figure out how to follow it first.

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