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HindustanTimes Thu,21 Aug 2014

Dubai film festival closes with American Hustle

Gautaman Bhaskaran, Hindustan Times   December 15, 2013
First Published: 11:40 IST(15/12/2013) | Last Updated: 11:59 IST(15/12/2013)

The 10th Dubai International Film Festival closed last night with David O Russell’s American Hustle, a playfully humorous take on corruption in the high places of the 1970s and 1980s America.

Written by Eric Warren Singer and Russell, the movie is a fictionalised version of the Abscam scandal, a Federal Bureau of Investigation sting operation that led to the conviction of many officials, including U.S. Congressmen. Russell (Silver Linings Playbook) is bold enough to admit that some of the incidents in his movie actually took place (in India, such admittance would have resulted in the film being banned).

Rich on star list -- Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper, Amy Adams, Jennifer Lawrence and Robert De Niro – American Hustle is a delightful romp through mirth and manipulation. Everybody is hustling everybody else, and topped with jealousy and intrigue, the movie, though, may be a little over the top for Indian audiences, at least those among them not familiar with American affairs.

Interestingly, American Hustle and 12 Years a Slave – both of which played at the festival – have each won seven Golden Globe nominations. Also, Mandela: The Long Walk to Freedom and Labor Day, which also enjoyed prominent slots in the Festival, have clinched more nods than what were expected.

While, the inclusions of these films in the festival do undoubtedly convey a sense of sharp acumen on the part of the selectors, Golden Globe nominations or wins have not been a great predictor of the Oscars. Yes, Golden Globes can be great tools of promotion.

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