Amy Adams is spectacular, febrile, dramatic, comic, sharp, sarcastic and magnificent to look upon, especially her soaring laughter in an explosive comic-sexual scene set in a nightclub ladies' room stall.
'American Hustle' is smart, sophisticated and slick. Director David O. Russell has been nominated for the Academy Award for both last year's 'Silver Linings Playbook' and 'The Fighter,' and he's bound to earn at least a nod again this year.
It's like a pastiche of a '70's Sidney Lumet picture: well made, well performed but lacking the bite and shrewd intelligence of the older movies it reminds you of. In this way it's a better movie about modern American filmmaking than the era it recreates.
To understand the breadth of disco-era deception laid out in American Hustle, understand that the most honest character in the movie is a politician. Not entirely honorable but compared with the swindle sharks circling, he's Jimmy Carter on Sundays.