AMERICAN HUSTLE (eOne, 2013) D: David O. Russell, w/ Christian Bale, Amy Adams. Rating: NNNN; Blu-ray package: NN Rating: NN
American Hustle works beautifully as a crime story, a romance, a farce with a dark streak and a 70s music, hair and plunging necklines nostalgia piece.
Scammers Irv and Sydney (Christian Bale, Amy Adams) are busted by FBI agent DiMaso (Bradley Cooper), who promises to let them go if they set up four more fraudsters. But the wildly overambitious DiMaso doesn't really understand how confidence tricks work. His simple sting spirals into a $10 million operation to bring down a mayor (Jeremy Renner), senators, a congressman and a major Mafia crew.
Every character, even Irv's loose-cannon wife (Jennifer Lawrence), is multi-layered, smart and likely to do something unexpected. The cast get a broad range of comic and dramatic moments, and they're clearly having big fun. Lawrence's housework dance to Live And Let Die is worth the rental price alone.
The making-of doc's cursory production overview isn't informative. Instead, go for a deeper and bleaker dig into swindlers with The Grifters or House Of Games, both fine movies.
EXTRAS Making-of doc, deleted and extended scenes. English, French audio and subtitles.