HindustanTimes Sat,12 Jul 2014

Movie review by Rashid Irani: American Hustle is smart, stylish and funny
Rashid Irani, Hindustan Times
January 18, 2014
First Published: 12:39 IST(18/1/2014)
Last Updated: 17:12 IST(28/2/2014)
American Hustle seems to be a top contender for the Oscars this season. Here're some solid reasons why.

American Hustle
Direction: David O Russell
Actors: Christian Bale, Amy Adams
Rating: ****1/2

Smart, stylish and fabulously funny, American Hustle consolidates David O Russellfs reputation as a maverick filmmaker.  After tackling a genre-bending heist caper (Three Kings, 1999), rowdy boxing drama (The Fighter, 2010) and quirky romantic comedy (Silver Linings Playbook, 2012), the directorfs seventh feature is a marvelous mosaic of 1970s Americana.

The plot could easily have been mistaken as an outrageous invention had not an opening title card clarified that, gsome of this actually happenedh.

Always a savvy storyteller, Russell brings a darkly comic tone to the narrative involving, among other things, money, sex, political corruption and family dynamics.

It is loosely based on a real-life FBI sting operation.  He (Batman star Bale, gaining 40 pounds for the role) is a beer-bellied owner of a New Jersey dry cleaning firm. His real business, however, is fleecing gullible investors. His partner in love and crime is a former stripper now posing as a British aristocrat (a cleavage-baring Adams). Their scams unravel when their latest client turns out to be a cocky federal agent (Bradley Cooper).

To further thicken the plot, an altruistic mayor (Jeremy Renner, doing his best Elvis Presley, impersonation) and the scamsterfs crafty wife (Jennifer Lawrence) are thrown into the mix.

The film has already snagged several Golden Globe awards. Will the Oscars follow suit?

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