Loosely based on the Abscam affair, a real political sting in the 1970s, American Hustle is easily one of the year’s best films. And its A-list actors—Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence—are definitely contenders for the 2014 Golden Globes and Oscars.
While corruption is at the core of this film, it is difficult to pin down each of these complex characters. As the balding and bloated Irving Rosenfeld, Christian Bale displays the empathetic side of a con artist who actually wants life to work out for others. He bonds with former stripper Sydney Prosser (Amy Adams) who joins Irving’s scams, posing as a British aristocrat with banking connections.
Volatile F.B.I. agent Richie DiMaso (Bradley Cooper) catches up with these partners in crime and coerces them into carrying out his big-time sting. As this unlikely trio works together, Richie falls under Sydney’s spell. Struggling with jealousy, Irving must also deal with his much younger and unpredictable wife, expertly portrayed by Jennifer Lawrence.
I highly recommend this engaging and entertaining film.