Inspired by a real life case, American Hustle is a tale of conning and cunning in late 70’s New Jersey.
When con artist Irving Rosenfeld (Christian Bale) and his girlfriend Sydney (Amy Adams) are caught in a FBI sting operation, agent Richie Di Maso (Bradley Cooper) offers them a deal. In exchange for helping the bureau with four more prosecutions, they will be released without charge. This soon leads them to the corrupt Mayor Carmine Polito (Jeremy Renner).
Irving is reluctant to participate in this bust when he becomes friendly with the Mayor and especially when he learns of the Mayor’s mob connections. Distrust among the three of them, and additional involvement from Irving’s hard drinking wife (Jennifer Lawrence), threatens to unravel their arrangement.
American Hustle contains top notch performances all round from the principal cast, particularly Lawrence who is superb. A winner at last weekend’s Golden Globe Awards, she should be in the running for a second consecutive Oscar win.
At various times, the film is told from three different perspectives which I felt added another dimension to the plot and rounded out the whole story.
The last great film of 2013, American Hustle is a tremendous crime caper.