Hustle for the Holidays

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"American Hustle," released in New York theater's today, is the one film you have to see this holiday season. Photo: Columbia Pictures

“American Hustle,” released in New York theaters today, is the one film you have to see this holiday season. Photo: Columbia Pictures

If you see only one film this holiday season, it should be American Hustle. Director David O. Russell (The Fighter, Silver Linings Playbook) has once again created a film with a spectacular ensemble cast and a script that is indicative of what American cinema is capable of: It’s a witty, character-driven retelling of the Abscam Scandal of the late ’70s, an FBI sting operation that relied on the help of two New York con artists to arrest a string of politicians involved in back-door dealings with the rebuilding of Atlantic City. Russell spoke at a screening for the NY Film Critics Series I attended, saying of the film: “This script came out instinctively. Everything I did came from instinct with these films that I feel started with The Fighter. It suddenly became clear to me that certain kinds of characters, the only way I can describe them is in their world. There’s something about them and their stories that is beyond category.”–JG

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