American Hustle (2013) ****

American Hustle is a comedy-drama film, directed by David O. Russell to a screenplay by Eric Warren Singer and Russell himself. It is inspired by the FBI ABSCAM operation, which took place in the late 1970s and early 1980s. The film stars a terrific ensemble, including Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper, Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, Louis C.K. and Jennifer Lawrence.
The film suffers from a slow start. At over two hours long, we could have done away with a good 20 minutes in the earlier part of the film. It would have given it a much better pace. Otherwise American Hustle is highly enjoyable. The characters walk a fine line between feeling real and being a caricature of themselves, but ultimately they all shine, with Jennifer Lawrence in a supporting role yet again stealing the show. Her range is magnificently wide, this time playing a New Jersey style bimbo wife. Christian Bale, in the leading role, had made a long way from being an American Psycho (2000 film) to portraying an American con artist.
As bonus, given that the film takes place in the late 70's, it includes lots of fun music from that era.