A heaping helping of period pleasure from director David O. Russell. Irving Rosenfeld (a gutty Christian Bale, resplendent in combover and ascot) is a '70s Jay Gatsby without the class anxiety, a man comfortable with the notion that everybody is, like him, working the con — getting along by lying about themselves (and often, to themselves). And of course, he's got a Daisy Buchanan in Sydney Prosser (Amy Adams, acting her heart out), his partner in love and hustling. But even a happy Gatsby may run afoul of a bully afflicted with overweening ambition and delusions of superiority — in this case, Bradley Cooper's FBI agent, who ropes the pair into helping him go after bigger game. And then there's the Other Woman (Jennifer Lawrence), the sexy blonde who's only half as dumb as she looks. There's a suitably twisty plot, but the point here is the people. It's a bit overlong and overmuch, but it's still a helluva party. (2013) — Matthew Lickona
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