Mister Tee wrote:I strongly dispute the "even fans of American Hustle think the script is weak" contention. flipp aside, I'm mostly hearing this from people who DIDN'T like the movie, and are projecting their view as more widespread. As BJ points out, the film won screenplay in NY and finished third at the National Society, so some fairly influential people think quite highly of it (in both cases rating it higher than her, in fact).
Mister Tee wrote:Characteristically, I'm with BJ: I think her has a definite shot at winning this, but I'm not willing to dismiss American Hustle out of hand, the way many appear to be (wishfully?) doing.
I'm not "wishfully" doing anything, Mister Tee. Just pointing out the Emperor with No Clothes here. American Hustle
's script is its weakest element. I liked the movie (for the most part) but I didn't think the characters were written with enough complexity. Several actors were able to overcome this with compelling performances (including the rarely mentioned Elisabeth Röhm who infuses a barely-on-the-page character with something quite special ultimately making her one of the film's standouts). Amy Adams threads into her performance some significant shading to compensate for what I see are some inconsistencies in the writing of her character but really, even she can't bring out a magic wand.
The structure of the film doesn't cohere on a basic plot level. If you're going to start a film in medias res, for example, take me to someplace new once I get back to that same scene in real time. By the time we reach the same event again, there's really almost nothing new we haven't deduced about the characters that didn't already appear in that first scene. Another immediate concrete example I'd point to as flimsy is the Goodfellas
-lite style Christian Bale narration which goes in and out of the film until (if I recall correctly) it's picked back up at the end to no great effect. You're, of course, welcome to counter with points in the script that you found brilliant and/or Oscar worthy. I'll wait.
Also, I'm not sure why you're singling me out. Go back to the American Hustle
thread and re-read other posters' thoughts because I'm certainly not the only person who was underwhelmed by the screenplay. Even in this thread, Oscar Guy had similar thoughts.
Sabin had this say in the American Hustle
thread: "I saw the film with a reader for Focus Features who read the original draft and is sending it to me. She feels loyalty to the original writer's vision."
Sabin, I'd love to hear your thoughts on the original draft of the film if you've had a chance to read it. I'm assuming it's a superior version to what made the final cut.
"The mantle of spinsterhood was definitely in her shoulders. She was twenty five and looked it."
-Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell