Original title:Amsterdam
Director:David O. Russell
Running time:134 minutes
Release date:07 october 2022
The story of three close friends who find themselves at the center of one of the most secret and shocking plots in American history.

Mulder's Review

To Taylor Swift

There's no denying that David O. Russell is a passionate writer-director who has created a bold filmography in which he finds the best in his actors to bring his films to life. His films include Spanking the Monkey (1994), Flirting with Disaster (1996), Three Kings (1999), I Heart Huckabees (2004), The Fighter (2010), Happiness Therapy (Silver Linings Playbook) (2012), American Bluff (American Hustle) (2013), Joy (2015) allowed him to work with excellent actors including his comedy fetish Christian Bale with whom he shot three films.  Whether it's a war film, a comedy-drama or as here a mix of slapstick comedy and political thriller, this director has always known how to surprise his audience and look for new lands to play far from constantly trying to play the easy card. In this case, Amsterdam relies on excellent actors but would have deserved a simpler story.

The main plot of the film is based on three close friends, Burt Berendsen (Christian Bale), Valerie Voze (Margot Robbie) and Harold Woodsman (John David Washington) who met in a military hospital and went to Amsterdam together for several months to escape a world they no longer recognize. Years after they separate, in 1933, they find themselves at the center of one of the most shocking secret plots in American history.  It is easy to understand the director's desire to make a connection between political relations and powerful business tycoons, both at the time of the film and now in the United States. However, we understand less his will to complicate the story of this film by numerous backs and froths in time, as it would have needed a better editing and especially to avoid some lengths to give life to a great American film as this director has accustomed us in the past. 

While the many twists and turns may lose some viewers in the process, or even wonder if it would not have been simpler to offer a better constructed film to keep all the stylistic power, we must recognize that David O. Russell is a gifted director and especially an excellent director of actors. Whether it is the three main roles Christian Bale, Margot Robbie and John David Washington and the many supporting roles Chris Rock, Anya Taylor-Joy, Zoe Saldaña, Mike Myers, Michael Shannon, Timothy Olyphant, Andrea Riseborough, Taylor Swift, Matthias Schoenaerts, Alessandro Nivola, Rami Malek, Robert De Niro, such a cast with so many celebrities is undeniably one of the qualities of this film. Even if she has only two scenes in this film, it is a great pleasure to see our favorite artist Taylor Swift on screen. She shows here that her acting talents have been sharpened by time and she perfectly hold the distance against Christian Bale and John David Washington. We will remember a short scene sung by Taylor Swift and Christian Bale and we start to dream of a successful musical (we will forget the very disappointing Cats).

If the film Amsterdam is inspired by the conspiracy of the Wall Street Putsch in which a group of business tycoons tried to overthrow Franklin D. Roosevelt by a coup and install a pro-business dictator taking as a model Mussolini and Hitler. Very bad idea specially to look at how these two politicians led the world to its loss during the second world war. Especially looking at what is happening in Russia and Ukraine, one would tend to think that man is unable to learn from his own history and to reproduce the same mistakes. The film Amsterdam could have been totally successful like its cast if its scenario had gained in cohesion and especially benefit from a better editing. The jerky rhythm may explain why neither the public nor our fellow American critics appreciated this film. However, this film deserves to be discovered in theaters, especially for the presence of Christian Bale, who is once again perfect and who never stops looking for different roles, far from being confined to a succession of American blockbusters that are often quite disappointing.

Written and directed by David O. Russell
Produced by Arnon Milchan, Matthew Budman, Anthony Katagas, David O. Russell, Christian Bale
Starring Christian Bale, Margot Robbie, John David Washington, Chris Rock, Anya Taylor-Joy, Zoe Saldaña, Mike Myers, Michael Shannon, Timothy Olyphant, Andrea Riseborough, Taylor Swift, Matthias Schoenaerts, Alessandro Nivola, Rami Malek, Robert De Niro
Cinematography : Emmanuel Lubezki
Edited by Jay Cassidy
Music by Daniel Pemberton
Production companies : Regency Enterprises, New Regency, DreamCrew, Keep Your Head, Corazon Hayagriva
Distributed by 20th Century Studios
Release dates : September 18, 2022 (Alice Tully Hall), October 7, 2022 (United States)
Running time : 134 minutes

Seen on October 2, 2022 at Gaumont Disney Village, Room 9 seat A19

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