It’s difficult to escape the notion that David O Russell is turning into one of the biggest American movie director because, well, he is. With The Fighter and Silver Linings Playbook under his belt, American Hustle is set to propel him into Oscar stardom, if he needed any more propelling, that is.

David O. Russell and Christian BaleDavid O. Russell and Christian Bale film scenes for American Hustle

Director-actor partnerships are fun - they define careers. Think Martin Scorsese/Robert de Niro, Quentin Tarantino/Christoph Waltz, Danny Boyle/Cillian Murphy, Ridley Scott/Russell Crowe and Wes Anderson/Bill Murray – if there’s one thing brilliant directors do, it’s keep hold of their favourite actors.

David O. Russell seems to be building up rapports with the right kind of people. Bradley Cooper can do no wrong (unless he does another Hangover movie, that’s it now), Jennifer Lawrence is Hollywood’s girl next door – the kind who can trip up collecting an Oscar and still look cool. And finally, Christian Bale - one of the more revered actors at the moment, he is renown for his dedication to roles, something O. Russell must enjoy working work.

Watch the American Hustle trailer:

Having gone on some character quests, telling human stories – Bale as Dicky Eklund and Cooper/Lawrence as Pat/Tiffany – O. Russell is applying his magic touch to the genre of crime, and pulling us back to the world of syndicated art forgery in the 70s. It’s based on the FBI's ABSCAM sting - the investigation that saw a US senator and five members of the House of Representatives convicted on corruption charges.

The film is already creating Oscars buzz as awards season rears its gossipy head. Building on his success from last year – Lawrence won best actress while Cooper was nominated for Lead Male in Silver Linings, Bale and Melissa Leo won for The Figher – this could be O. Russell’s first individual recognition after helming seven different Academy-nominated performances. American Hustle is out on Christmas day in the U.S and Boxing day in the U.K.

Bradley CooperBradley Cooper filming American Hustle in his 70s clobber