This is the weekend people are usually encouraged to go see the Oscar winners they missed during the lead-up to last Sunday's awards show.
Not me. I say make time for the Biggest Loser: "American Hustle."
The film went into the night with 10 nominations and walked out with zero — disappointing for such zany, smart fun. On the surface, director David O. Russell's latest is about a '70s con within a con game.
Yet the plot really spins around the flawed nature of human dynamics. Christian Bale's con guy, Amy Adams as his partner/lover, Jennifer Lawrence as the scorned wife and Bradley Cooper's overly ambitious FBI agent are the primary work force. Within each character, Russell has dropped a specific nugget of vulnerability.
As the cons unfold, those weak spots drive each of them toward that brick wall of big mistakes. All the clever observations about egos are wrapped in a fabulous period look and set to music that carries its own subtle commentary.
The film would be eminently satisfying even if Cooper's angry FBI-er hadn't thrown a phone at his boss, played by Louis C.K. Anyone who's caught the caustic comic's act has probably felt like doing the same thing.