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'American Hustle' is loaded with A-list stars and deserves the Oscar

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'American Hustle'

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Christian Bale plays Irving Rosenfeld, a con man who gets backed into a corner, in tandem with his partner the steamy Sydney Prosser (Amy Adams). After being caught in a con they’re forced to work for an unglued FBI agent, Richie DiMaso (Bradley Cooper).

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Jennifer Lawrence as Irving’s miserable wife steals every scene she’s in.

Jeremy Renner plays New Jersey Mayor Carmine Polito and Elisabeth Röhm plays the mayor’s wife, Dolly, looking nothing like her Law & Order blonde D.A. She’ll look familiar at first but you won’t be able to place it unless you study her face.

If the competition weren't so strong this year, you could bet big on "American Hustle" as a lock for the Best Picture Oscar. The acting is flawless. At least one cast member will surely garner an Academy Award nomination. Lawrence as Best Supporting Actress is almost a given.

In years past the Academy has leaned toward films with actors who’d completely transformed themselves for a role. Christian Bale put on 50 pounds in two months by eating a truckload of donuts and is unrecognizable compared to his role in this month’s "Out of the Furnace."

The story is based on an FBI sting operation called Abscam that took place in the late 1970s. The operation began as a means to nab traffickers of stolen property. It morphed into an investigation on the corruption rampant among public offices.

Abscam led to convictions for a U.S. senator, six congressmen, one member of the New Jersey State Senate, and a number of other public officials.

It not only captures the style and texture of the 1970s, but also the best of its music. Don’t miss this flick.

"American Hustle" is playing now. Crime drama, comedy. Rated R. 138 minutes.

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