American Hustle ★★★★
A screwball comedy inspired by the FBI Abscam (or “Arab scam“) of the late 20th century designed to sniff out corrupt politicians. Christian Bale, sporting a comb-over to make even Donald Trump envious, and Amy Adams are a pair of con artists and lovers, who are caught out by FBI agent Bradley Cooper. Instead of arresting them he recruits them to help introduce bogus Arab sheikhs to crooked local politicians and induce the politicos to accept bribes. Cooper’s main target is New Jersey mayor Jeremy Renner. The many complications to this scheme include the presence of Bale’s highly unpredictable wife, Jennifer Lawrence. David O Russell’s film claims that much of what takes place actually happened but equally much of it obviously didn’t. Still, the result is funny and hugely enjoyable. In an excellent ensemble cast Robert De Niro appears briefly as a Mafia boss but the one who shines brightest, though in a comparatively minor role, is the hugely talented Lawrence.
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