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The Oscar hustle is on

American Hustle is shaping up to be the film to watch
American Hustle is shaping up to be the film to watch

It looks like “American Hustle” and “Gravity” are the films to watch come Oscar Night. With nine Oscar nominations each, the films are expected to dominate the awards with ten nominations each. However the special effects-laden sci-fi space drama “Gravity,” is more of a crowd-pleaser and lacks some of the drama that Oscar loves. My personal pick for Oscar, Staten Island viewers is to expect the unexpected. “American Hustle” may garner Best Director honors for David O’ Russell who directed last year’s “Silver Linings Playbook” and Best Picture of the Year. Staten Island movie fans, “American Hustle’ is now playing at the UA All Staten Island Stadium 16 Theatre. Check your local listings for showtimes.

The Washington Post had this to say about the Oscar nominations that were announced yesterday (Thursday, January 16): “Aligning with expectations, “American Hustle” and “Gravity” led the pack with 10 nominations each, followed closely by “12 Years a Slave” with nine nods.” “Even contenders with promising early careers have had their share of setbacks. David O. Russell’s “American Hustle” is tied with “Gravity” for most nominations, but the accolades come after a mid-career slump,” added The Washington Post. “ Late last year, the best director nominee discussed the dark period between his promising early movies, such as “Flirting With Disaster” and “Three Kings,” and his critically acclaimed recent streak of “Silver Linings Playbook” and “The Fighter.” That era was beset with scrapped projects thanks to Shakespearean-caliber self-doubt.”

Added of Russell’s big comeback: “Those days are behind him. “The Fighter” kicked off his big comeback, and since then he’s repeatedly worked with some of Hollywood’s brightest stars, including Christian Bale and Jennifer Lawrence, who both won Oscars for roles in Russell’s movies, and Bradley Cooper and Amy Adams. All are nominated this year for their roles in ‘American Hustle.’ ”

The New York Times calls battle between “Gravity” and “American Hustle” a slugfest

“Oscar voters set up a three-way slugfest on Thursday, with the visual wizardry and box office might of “Gravity” going up against the historical heft of “12 Years a Slave” and the 1970s-era hairdos and cleavage of “American Hustle,” added in its article (Thursday, January 16)

“Among actors, “American Hustle” was the strongest film, with nominees in all four major categories: Christian Bale (best actor), Amy Adams (best actress, her first such nomination after four supporting nods), Bradley Cooper (best supporting actor) and the white-hot Jennifer Lawrence (best supporting actress.),” added The Times. “It was the second year in a row that a film by Mr. Russell had nominees in all four categories, a difficult feat that he achieved last year with “Silver Linings Playbook” (with Ms. Lawrence winning best actress).”

“With a best actress nomination, Sandra Bullock was the only lauded “Gravity” star, but that space adventure is essentially a one-woman show,” according to The Times.“ ‘Gravity’ caught up with ‘American Hustle’ in nominations by scoring heavily in less-prominent categories, including score, sound editing, sound mixing and visual effects. But those nominations could speak to the film’s strength as a best picture contender,” added The Times. “Enormous numbers of Oscar voters work in Hollywood’s “below the line” crafts and pay close attention to the finer points of film assembly when picking their ultimate winner.”

Reuters talks of a highly-competitive field

“Three films – ‘American Hustle,’ ‘Gravity’ and ‘12 Years a Slave' - cemented their frontrunner status for the Oscars on Thursday in what is shaping up to be a highly competitive year for Hollywood's top honors,” added

“"American Hustle" also earned supporting nominations for actors from Russell's hit last year "Silver Linings Playbook," - Jennifer Lawrence, who won the best actress Oscar, and Bradley Cooper,” according to Reuters.
“Russell's romp through 1970s New York earned nominations for best picture, directing, writing and all four acting categories, a rare feat he also scored last year,” added Reuters.

So hustle to your local theatre, Staten Island movie fans, and tell us exactly who you think should walk away with Oscar’s highest honors. We welcome your comments and feedback.