Hey, two ‘80s updates in a row. Sorta, and it’s the one thing that keeps me going cinematically, ‘80s period pieces with real fur. This one hits even harder because I vaguely recall seeing the evening news reporting on the events this movie dramatized when I was but a wee webmaster. Not only that, it was even parodied in the original Bloom County strip. So, let’s get our American Hustle on.
American Hustle – The Film
The short version: this is a dramatization of Abscam. Which, because the ‘80s, is not a particularly racially sensitive nickname. A couple of con artists (Adams and Bale) are caught by an FBI agent (Cooper) in a sting. Irving and Sydney are offered an out, help with more stings, and they won’t face charges. They enlist the help of a friend posing as an Arab sheik looking for “investments” in America. The group “hustles” mobsters, mayors, and congressmen, all while involved in various melodramatic love triangles behind the scenes.
American Hustle – The Furs
Irving and Sydney’s star-crossing meeting plays out in a flashback to a very 70s party. In walks Sydney wearing a fur collar, catching Irving’s eye.
In a scam montage, the pair end up at a dry cleaner where they find the fancy stuff in the back. Cue an all-too-short montage of Amy Adams having oversized fur coats draped over her shoulders and reacting as any well-adjusted ‘80s lady would.
Golden isle fox for the second one. Maybe red, but I’ll stand by that.
Disaster strikes at an art deal, where Sydney’s sheepskin collar and cuffs do not prevent them from being caught by the FBI. A valuable lesson to always grift in a quality fur.
I mentioned behind-the-scenes drama and have yet to mention Jennifer Lawrence. So here’s Jennifer Lawrence, who plays Rosalyn, the wife of the FBI agent, Richie DiMaso, that blackmails Irving and Sydney into the scams. JLaw has a couple of furs in this film, starting with this one.
Amy and Jennifer’s characters have a bit of a rivalry as Sydney drops Irving for Richie. She arrives in what I’m pretty sure is the blue fox from the dry cleaner scene earlier in the film. Can’t blame her; I would have kept that one, too.
Later, at an airport during one of the stings, Sydney and then-ex Irving chat while she’s wearing a lovely fox fur collar. It may be dyed or could be a polar/white fox.
Rosalyn is hugging Dolly Polito, a virtually unrecognizable Elisabeth Röhm in a mink fur coat. Unrecognizable to me, who watched her stint on L&O as a last-minute lesbian. The ladies share a little fur coat and snuggle.
In a bit of repeated beat from earlier, Sydney and the-reason-pan-and-scan-is-still-useful roll up. Sydney’s taste in fur has leveled up to full length, full pelt blue fox, and we’re all for it.
Rosalyn is wearing either a crystal fox, with an outside chance at some kind of raccoon.
Sydney/Amy and Rosalyn/Jennifer face off. Sadly the aggrieved parties do not simply put aside their differences and complement each other’s taste in furs.
Rosalyn brings our journey to a close in this raccoon-collared coat. A little extra fur for road, thanks, American Hustle.
That’s all for this piece of period media. This is undoubtedly no stand-out in runtime, barely scraping by at 3%, but we’re giving this a quality-over-quantity badge. It certainly doesn’t help that we’re mining this gold in a 2 hour plus prestige piece. The combination of excellent period-authentic oversized fur coats and the fact that it’s Amy Adams and Jennifer Lawrence wearing them is certainly worth a look. It’s also a pretty good movie, so unlike many films I’ve reviewed, you won’t have to suffer too much to get to the good stuff.
Fur Runtime: approx 4 minutes
Film Runtime: 138 minutes
On-Screen Fur Ratio: 3%
Find-a-Fur: American Hustle, 2013
(all times are approximate)
- 08:20 – 08:42 – Collar in montage
- 13:10 – furs on racks
- 18:43 – trim
- 57:03 – blue fox
- 1:06:45 – fox collar
- 1:09:22 – ”
- 1:12:38 – two fox coats
- 1:44:35 – racoon collar