Many people were aghast when the 86th Academy Awards nomination list was released back in 2014. One film, that didn’t even make its budget at the box office, was tied for Gravity with 10 nominations that year. That was David O. Russell’s crime drama, American Hustle. Many people felt the film didn’t live up to the hype and wondered how such an average film ended up with so many Oscar nominations. However, I for one rather enjoy American Hustle and didn’t understand all the hate and vitriol against this film, which gave some outstanding performances from a terrific ensemble cast.

Why People Think American Hustle Is Overrated…

American Hustle ended up being nominated for Best Picture, Best Director for David O. Russell, Best Original Screenplay for David O. Russell and Eric Warren Singer, Best Actor for Christian Bale, Best Actress for Amy Adams, Best Supporting Actor for Bradley Cooper and Best Supporting Actress for Jennifer Lawrence. It should be noted that American Hustle was nominated for an additional 3 Oscars but failed to win a single award in any category it was nominated for.

Sitting at a 93% critic score and a 74% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes, this might be a rare of example of me agreeing with critics more than audiences on a film. Why? I really enjoyed watching American Hustle when I first saw it opening weekend at the cinema and can’t comprehend the hate people have for this film. For one, many argue that American Hustle should not have been nominated for Best Picture or Best Director since many believe that the film itself was good but not great. Many also felt that the film was flashy and what’s known as Oscar bait. That means that the filmmakers made a film with getting Oscar nominations in mind. While I can’t argue against those feelings entirely, I still really like American Hustle and feel that the performances in the film were quite exceptional.

Why American Hustle Deserved Its Accolades…

American Hustle might not be a masterpiece or even a film we haven’t seen before, but it’s much better than most give it credit for. While the story’s tone does change about half way into the film, the performances are rock solid. Christian Bale, who I’m normally not a fan of (Yes, I know, I know) worked incredibly well alongside the gorgeous, scene-stealing Amy Adams. I think she was more than deserving of her Oscar nomination for this role. Then, there’s the supporting cast. I really love Bradley Cooper in this film that felt that he gave the better performance than Christian Bale. I loved his character’s arch and I consider Bradley’s performance in American Hustle to be one of his best. Then, there’s the infectious Jennifer Lawrence, whom I’m a big fan of. She plays Christian Bale’s character’s young housewife and was jaw-dropping in her role. In fact, I’d say that her performance made the film for me and there were plenty of great moments besides her character. Jeremy Renner also gave a really solid performance in a great role so needless to say, I personally don’t get all the hate for this film.

Consider that while American Hustle was nominated for 10 Oscars at the 86th Annual Academy Awards, it didn’t take home any that night. Perhaps that was the Academy’s way of agreeing with those who liked the film but felt it was a tad overrated?

I don’t know if that’s necessarily true or not but what I do know is that American Hustle is A GREAT FILM with AWESOME PERFORMANCES from a terrific cast and I never once felt that the film was over hyped or overrated. If you’ve read a lot of my work you should know that I’m usually the first person to pull the overrated alarm especially when it comes to Oscar films, but in this case, there was no need for me to.

American Hustle also gave us the term “science oven”, which is something I often use in regular conversation. So honestly, how bad can it really be?