My top 10 of 2013: American Hustle (#4)

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More from my Film Stage top 10 list. 

David O. Russell’s latest success has been brushed off as “Scorsese-lite” in some circles, but that’s a silly, baseless criticism. In fact, American Hustle feels as wonderfully free-form as Soderbergh or Altman, a character study more interested in mise-en-scene and dramatic fakery than plot. Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Bradley Cooper, and, especially, Jennifer Lawrencehave never had such meaty parts, and all have never been stronger. It’s a glorious high, and one can imagine Russell smirking on the sidelines, as exhilarated as we are.