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In this film image released by Sony Pictures, Bradley Cooper, left, as Richie Dimaso and Christian Bale as Irving Rosenfeld talk in a gallery at the Frick Museum in a scene from Columbia Pictures' "American Hustle." After meeting the dapper Rosenfeld and his seductive partner, Sydney Prosser (Amy Adams), Cooper’s character, Dimaso, ups his fashion game. (AP Photo/Sony - Columbia Pictures, Francois Duhamel)
Best Picture nominees offer a dark portrait of the American Dream
First Published Feb 25 2014 04:45 pm • Last Updated Feb 26 2014 11:00 am

Most of the nominees in this category are fundamentally concerned with the space between who we are and who we say we are, both as individuals and as Americans.

Americana

This is America. It is many things at the same time. (Thinkstock)A con man is standing in an art gallery, pointing at Rembrandt's 17th-century portrait of Saint Bartholomew. It’s a fake, the man says, a feat of forgery so astounding that it calls into question the value of truth: "Who's a master; the painter or the forger?"The scammer is Irving Rosenfeld, played by Christian Bale in "American Hustle," a film that raises questions that are at the heart of several ...

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