138 minutes, U.S.A., 2013, Colour, D-Cinema

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Continuing his recent superlative form (The Fighter, The Silver Linings Playbook), director David O. Russell plays fast and loose with the ‘70s-set American Hustle, a sprawling comedy-drama in which a conman and his partner are coerced into assisting the FBI ensnare corrupt politicians. When Irving (Christian Bale) and mistress Sydney (Amy Adams) are busted by Agent DiMaso (Bradley Cooper), they are set on the trail of a New Jersey mayor (Jeremy Renner) who may be open to bribery. A major threat to their success is Irving’s wife Rosalyn (Jennifer Lawrence), a hot-tempered and outspoken troublemaker growing increasingly jealous of the feelings developing between her husband and his partner.

Imbued with the spirit of Scorsese at his freewheeling best, and helped by some of the cast’s best work, this is a very funny and very entertaining start to the year.

American Hustle will be one of three films discussed in January’s FREE film club meeting, The Critical Take, on Wednesday, January 22nd at 18.30. This event is open to all – simply book your seat at the IFI Box Office.

Don’t forget we now schedule weekly.

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