A late entry to the 2013 awards race, David O. Russell's American Hustle is emerging as a force to reckon with. The film reunites Russell with Christian Bale and Jennifer Lawrence, who both won Oscars working with him in the past.

Check out the trailer for American Hustle

Hustle completes a remarkable trilogy for O Russell, a man who came to the party late and didn’t fight his feet right away.

In The Fighter, a boxing story with delightful turns from Bale and Amy Adams, O Russell carved a traditionally entertaining, old-fashioned movie.

With Silver Linings Playbook, he took a tried and tested formula – the romantic comedy – but spun it in a different, wholly welcome direction, introducing concepts of mental illness. He even managed to put De Niro in the grumpy father role without making it terrible, not to mention catalyzing the transformation of Jennifer Lawrence from teen star to Oscar winner.

Read our glowing review of American Hustle here

American Hustle has collected seven Golden Globe nominations, including Best Film (Comedy) and acting nods for Bale, Lawrence, Bradley Cooper and Amy Adams. And in the arguably more important Screen Actors Guild awards, American Hustle has landed a coveted Best Ensemble nomination, seen as a precursor to Best Picture Oscar attention - and if any film's going to upset the 12 Years a Slave party, Hustle seems to be the key contender. 

Lawrence also received a SAG nomination for the film, which of course comes hot on the heels of her box office hit The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. She has also recently picked up an award from the New York film critics.

It also has a great chance of prospering in the Best Costume Design category, with its 70s style inspired by Gucci, Playboy and cheesy advertising. Not that the film’s stars particularly enjoyed donning the contemporaneous garb.

American Hustle hits cinemas tonight in the U.S on a limited run (an Oscars eligibility ploy) and on New Year’s Day in the U.K.

American Hustle posterBradley Cooper, Amy Adams, Christian Bale Jennifer Lawrence and Jeremy Renner look the part in their 70s getup