AMSTERDAM marks the 10th feature in David O. Russell’s canon and showcases his long history of quality casts playing in imaginative plots. Here is my full review of the conspiracy filled world that is AMSTERDAM.
“Amsterdam,” the latest film from acclaimed writer/director David O. Russell, is a fascinating and richly intricate tale that brilliantly weaves historical fact with fiction for a timely, cinematic experience. 20th Century Studios’ and New Regency’s original crime epic about three close friends who find themselves at the center of one of the most shocking secret plots in American history, will open exclusively in theaters October 7, 2022.
The film’s tremendous cast is the obvious first selling point to the movie. From Christian Bale as war-veteran turned amputee doctor Burt Berendsen we are thrust into the wacky NYC of pre-WWII changing America. Bale’s best bud is Harold Woodman played stoically by John David Washington and rounding out the trio is the electric Margot Robbie as mysterious Valerie Voze. Add in Robert De Niro, Mike Myers, Chris Rock, Zoe Saldana, Taylor Swift, Rami Malek and Michael Shannon and this is another classic line-up for Russell. The cast seemed to relish diving into the secret filled world that was WWI impacted America rife for global impact…depending on who to align! The power of 5 is the “evil” figures looking to push America towards the axis powers that would attempt a world coup.
The quirky early 20th century look and vibe allows the absurdly complicated conspiracy to take hold. The twists and turns our tale takes us on seems fairly familiar to Russell’s other 3 lead plot THREE KINGS. That all-star cast tackled the wacky turmoil of the Iraq invasion. This dive back in time allows Russell to trick out the wardrobe, the music and the production value behind 20’s and 30’s NYC. The film does an amazing job of transforming you to that era. Emmanuel Lubezki’s sly cinematic impact is hugely felt in the sweeping NYC given to us.
Overall Amsterdam’s humor maybe a little rooted to the time frame to fully translate. But the political and socio-economic subjects touched upon are just as pertinent now as back in the turn of the 20th century. The stakes of a new world’s powerhouse country ebbing back and forth on nationalist (fascist) or capitalist society is still felt today! The film’s wild adventure doesn’t hide the obvious connections to our current world. Racism, sexism and classism are all apart of Russell’s plot. How successful that translates to the masses will be tested by the release, but there is little doubt Russell, his cast and crew came to play the game correctly.
Worth your time and money if still not worthy of finally garnering Russell his Oscar win. A quality effort with funky laughs and fanciful performances which are becoming signatures to Russell’s work.
For an added treat, we interviewed Martin Harris who has a small role in this film!
3.5 out of 5 Stars.
Written & Directed by: David O’ Russell
Running Time: 2h 14min
Comedy / Drama / History
Exclusive release October 7th
Starring: Christian Bale, John David Washington, Margot Robbie and Robert De Niro