Amsterdam, David O. Russell’s highly anticipated film, tells an intense story of friendship against the backdrop of one of the most secretive conspiracies in American history. With Christian Bale, Margot Robbie and John David Washington.
Amsterdam is the new film by award-winning director David O. Russell which will arrive in Italian cinemas from 27 October, distributed by The Walt Disney Company Italy. This is an original crime about three great friends who find themselves at the center of one of the most shocking secret plots in American history.
Brilliantly mixing reality with fiction, Amsterdam is a film that has a scary cast: Christian Bale, Margot Robbie, John David Washington, Alessandro Nivola, Andrea Riseborough, Anya Taylor-Joy, Chris Rock, Matthias Schoenaerts, Michael Shannon, Mike Myers, Taylor Swift, Timothy Olyphant, Zoe Saldaña , Rami Malek and Roberto De Niro.
In preview, al Rome Film Festival 2022.
What Amsterdam tells
The plot of the movie Amsterdam, written and directed by David O. Russell, is particularly complex and detailed. Dr. Burt Berendsen (Christian Bale) and attorney Harold Woodman (John David Washington) have their offices in uptown New York, a time when something very big is about to happen. We are in 1933 and the two, with a past behind them, believe they can handle any kind of problem, especially if it concerns people less fortunate or with little money. Outsider, Burt and Harold are also best friends with each other.
The environment of Burt’s office is very fun because it is populated by unique characters, such as Shirley (Bonnie Hellman) and Morty (Max Perlich). And this is where Burt invents medicines that will hit the shelves eighty years later but that everyone needs to get through the day. When Harold invites him to meet him at a certain address, Burt has no doubts: he takes his bag and shows up on the spot, happy to see his old friend again.
Harold needs “help” but notices that Burt has flowers in his hand for a dinner date with his ex-wife, Beatrice (Andrea Riseborough). “Is it possible that the friend has never managed to go further? What to do to help him?Harold wonders when the surprising Elizabeth Meekins (Taylor Swift), the daughter of the great Bill (Ed Begley Jr.), the general who introduced the two friends in unusual circumstances, arrives from the staircase. It is the general who needs Burt’s intervention and the doctor is happy to present himself in front of him.
But the encounter isn’t what Burt imagined. Meekins is inside a coffin and Milton (Chris Rock), Harold’s trusted aide, reveals that her daughter would like her to perform an autopsy. The girl believes that her father died under mysterious circumstances and she turned to them because no one in the same family as her has the same suspicions. And that’s how the greatest adventure they’ve ever faced together begins for Burt and Harold.
The succession of events in what will be a long night also allows us to go back to when Burt and Harold met and when, together with the formidable Valerie Voze (Margot Robbie), they lived the happiest moment of their life in postwar Amsterdam. . Valerie, indomitable and mysterious, was the third member of a triumvirate that had sworn to always take care of each other.
And now Burt and Harold will unexpectedly reunite with Valerie. Together the three ran into international spies and bird watcherslike Paul Canterbury (Mike Meyers) and Henry Norcross (Michael Shannon), but also the greatest and most respected general in history, Gilbert Dillenbeck (Robert De Niro), involved in the conspiracy that the three heroes will be called to solve in order to save themselves.
A story of friendship
Amsterdam it’s a film that tells a very personal story for the director David O. Russell. “Friendship and love are the foundation of the film,” she said. “For me, the most important thing is the bond that binds the characters. The friendship between Harold and Burt is particularly important. The pact they make to take care of each other, later extended to Valerie, is the pillar of the story ”.
Harold, Valerie and Burt are therefore at the center of a solid and true friendship. A bit like the one that has linked director David O. Russell and the actor for years Christian Balewho find themselves on set for the third time later American Hustle And The Fighter (film that earned Bale an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor). “We had been talking to David about the project for years,” Bale recalled. “We met several times and each time we added different stimuli, readings and inspirations for the story but what remained constant was the great friendship at the heart of the story,” echoed Russell.
Real facts and characters
In the movie Amsterdam, Russell intertwined his fictional characters with concrete events in American history, especially a watershed moment when the whole world could have taken the wrong path or stayed on the right side. Precisely for this reason, some of the characters are inspired by real figures. Like, for example, General Gil Dillenbeck, based on the figure of Smedley Butler, whose actions helped change the course of history.
The character of Valerie Voze is instead inspired by several artists of the period while for the 369th regiment of New York, to which Burt and Harold belong, Russell relied on the Harlem Hell Fighters Regiment, a regiment of black and Puerto Rican soldiers sent to France to defend their country. Their story is peculiar because they were forced to serve in the French army when their American countrymen refused to work alongside non-white soldiers.
The main characters
As often happens in David O. Russell’s films, there are different characters that animate Amsterdam. Let’s find out the most important.
- Burt Berendsen (Christian Bale)
Married to Beatrice Vandenheuvel (Andrea Riseborough), he was encouraged by her wealthy family to enlist. Half Jewish and half Catholic, he then followed the family medical tradition and lives a dysfunctional relationship with his wife: they live in separate residences and both want different things from life.
“Burt is a doctor who suffers from his injuries and the trauma of war. He takes several pills to relieve the various pains he has but, despite all hell past, he remains an optimist. He is a veteran who was disappointed in how he was treated upon his return from the war, ”added Christian Bale, star of the film. Amsterdam.
- Harold Woodman (John David Washinton)
Lawyer, Harold was wounded while serving in the war. Upon his return to New York, he put himself at the service of all those who could not defend themselves. While Burt appears more vulnerable, Harold is like a rock.
“When I accepted the role, I began to think about how an African American could live that time. I was more familiar with the Second World War but not with the first: this is why it was interesting to understand what it was like to fight for your country in 1918 ”, highlighted Washington.
- Valerie Voze (Margot Robbie)
Valerie, artist and heiress, befriended Burt and Harold while serving as a nurse in a Belgian hospital. And it was she, champion of art, love and beauty, who brought the two to Amsterdam, changing their lives. It was Valerie who allowed them to recover from the wounds of war and make them rediscover happiness.
Meekins was a family friend of the Voze. Which is why it’s Valerie who recommends Liz contact Burt and Harold.
- Gil Dillenback (Robert De Niro)
He is the most decorated general in US history. He was the commander of the 369th New York Regiment, where Burt and Harold served. A friend of General Bill Meekins, he agrees to speak at the annual veterans gathering in hopes of finding out what’s behind his death.
He is Valerie’s brother. With his eccentric wife Libby, played by Anya Taylor-Joy, he played a decisive role in Valerie’s past.
- Paul Canterbury and Henry Norcross (Mike Meyers and Michael Shannon)
Undercover spies are Valerie’s two mysterious friends in Amsterdam. And they will always be available to help her, Burt and Harold whenever they need them in the future.
He fought in the war with Burt and Harold. Back in New York, he works for Harold and reunites with Burt after Meekins’ death.
- Irma St. Clair (Zoe Saldaña)
She’s a tough, tough New York nurse who helps Burt unravel the mystery behind Meekins’ death. But she is also the one who will guide him in matters of love. Irma will in fact bond with him: both with a broken heart, she will become a sort of beacon for Burt.
Amsterdam: photos from the film