If you ask any fan of film to name a few of the best movies involving con artists, the first few that will be mentioned are almost certain to include The Sting, House of Games, Catch Me If You Can, and a few others. The first two are the best of the genre. Until now. American Hustle, a film from David O. Russell is definitely a contender to be among the best movies involving a con or cons, ever.
Saturday before the Oscar broadcast takes the spotlight away from Hollywood Boulevard temporarily and moves it West to Santa Monica beach for the Independent Spirit Awards. Silver Linings Playbook grabbed four awards including Best Director and Best Screenplay for writer/director David O. Russell. Not surprisingly, The Sessionswon two awards for acting. Here is a list of the winners in the major categories:
In Matthew Quick’s sensitive novel Silver Linings Playbook, the Solitano family – moody paterfamilias Pat Sr., peacekeeping mother Dolores, and son Pat Jr., recently released from a mental institution for reasons yet to be discovered – live in an Eagles-obsessed Philly suburb in South Jersey. David O. Russell has both adapted and directed the movie version of Quick’s book, which results in a scattershot translation lacking in many of the details that grounded the original story. That the Solitano household now exists in an unspecified Pennsylvania town is just the tip of the iceberg in how Silver, a piercing look into the mind of the mentally ill, has morphed into a neutered, loosy-goosey comedy without claws.