As sharp and entertaining as it was upon its initial release ten years ago, David O. Russell’s American Hustle gets the 4K treatment from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. Nominated for 10 Oscars, the fact-based dramedy constantly surprises with the razor-sharp script from Eric Warren Singer and Russell, spot on performances from its stacked cast and an ever-expanded plot which, the more complex it becomes, manages to suck the viewer in rather than alienating them.

Rather than telling the audience this was “Based on a True Story,” Russell informs us before the credits roll “Some of This Actually Happened,” immediately setting the tone of the film while letting us know liberties have been taken regarding the events we’re about the see. (So much latitude was granted that improvisation between the actors was encouraged, though some of what they concocted caused parts of the script to be rewritten.)  The Abscam scandal provides the spine of the plot, but the characters are what prove most compelling, each having a real-life counterpart who have been slightly tweaked.

Irving Rosenfeld and Sydney Prosser (Christian Bale and Amy Adams) are con artists who’ve set up a phony investment firm in which they promise access to high-rollers and “sure-fire” investment opportunities. They’re not above selling forged art when the opportunity presents itself either. They run afoul of over-eager F.B.I. agent Richie DiMaso (Bradley Cooper) who, ends up using them to reel in bigger corrupt fish, a plan that initially targets fellow con artists, but eventually expands to bringing down politicians, including the Mayor Carmine Polito (Jeremy Renner) of Camden, New Jersey and mob boss Victor Tellegio (Robert De Niro).

Russell keeps the film moving at a brisk pace, the energy in the storytelling as seductive as its characters. The principals, which also includes Jennifer Lawrence as Rosenfeld’s unhinged wife Rosalyn, feed off one another, the actors obviously having fun as they respond to the challenge of performing with one another. All bring their A-Game, each a delight to behold, while Micheal Pena, Shea Whingham, and Louis C.K. each shine in key supporting roles.

This new release comes with both a 4K disc, which includes director-approved HDR and Dolby Atmos, and 15 minutes of deleted and extended scenes, as well as a Blu-Ray disc that features 11 deleted scenes and a fascinating “Making of” documentary. These supplements provide a complete picture of the making of Russell’s modern masterpiece, as American Hustle retains its power to not only entertain, but provide a cautionary tale about the vagaries of greed and vanity.

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