American Hustle won the top prize at this year’s Screen Actors Guild Awards.
Representing his co-stars, Robert De Niro, Jennifer Lawrence, Amy Adams and Christian Bale, actor Bradley Cooper praised film director David O. Russell.
As actors form the biggest voting bloc in the Oscars, the SAG awards are seen as a key indicator for that ceremony.
Last year, the guild chose hostage drama Argo for its top honor, with that film going on to receive the Academy Award for best picture.
However, this year’s field is more competitive – with 12 Years a Slave and Gravity expected to give American Hustle‘s A-list cast a run for their money when the Oscars roll around on 2 March.
Newcomer Lupita Nyong’o, who plays an abused plantation worker in 12 Years a Slave, was given the best supporting actress award by SAG voters.
The Kenyan actress also thanked her director, British film-maker Steve McQueen, “for taking a flashlight and shining it underneath the floorboards of this nation and reminding us what it is we stand on”.
Both best actor and best supporting actor went to the stars of Dallas Buyers Club, a small film that cost just $4 million to make.
American Hustle won the top prize at this year’s Screen Actors Guild Awards
The film is based on the true story of a homophobic Texan who gets AIDS and smuggles unapproved anti-HIV drugs into the US in the 1980s.
Matthew McConaughey, in the lead role, and Jared Leto both endured dramatic weight loss to play their parts.
Cate Blanchett took home the best actress prize for her complex, cracked portrayal of a socialite fallen on hard times in Woody Allen’s Blue Jasmine.
It was Cate Blanchett’s 17th best actress prize of the awards season – and she is considered a near-certainty for the trophy at both the BAFTAs and Oscars.
The SAG Awards also recognize actors working in TV, with sitcom Modern Family winning best ensemble in a comedy series and best male actor in a comedy series for Ty Burrell’s dumb-but-loveable patriarch Phil Dunphy.
Accepting the show’s cast award – its fourth in a row – Colombian star Sofia Vergara said the honor was “mind-blowing”, adding: “I can barely speak English.”
Breaking Bad, which left TV screens last year, continued its victory lap around the awards shows, winning outstanding dramatic cast and for best lead actor Bryan Cranston, for his indelible performance as teacher-turned-meth dealer, Walter White.
Maggie Smith and Helen Mirren won best actress awards for Downton Abbey and the TV movie Phil Spector respectively.
Michael Douglas picked up a best actor prize in the TV category for his performance as Liberace in the movie Behind The Candelabra, which was only shown on cable channel HBO.
The lifetime achievement award was given to Rita Moreno, the 81-year-old actress who played Anita del Carmen in West Side Story, alongside roles in Singin’ in the Rain and The King and I, and on Broadway in The Ritz and The Odd Couple.
American Hustle has won three Golden Globe awards at last night ceremony in Beverly Hills, including best film comedy or musical.
Its stars Amy Adams and Jennifer Lawrence also picked up best actress and supporting actress prizes for their roles in the 1970s-set crime movie.
Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave picked up the top honour of the night, winning best film drama.
However, it was the only award 12 Years a Slave picked up, after going into the evening with seven nominations.
Both Steve McQueen and stars Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender and Lupita Nyong’o had received nods but came away empty-handed.
Collecting the award, Steve McQueen said he was “a little bit in shock” and thanked his wife for finding the book by Solomon Northup, on which the film was based.
The other film awards were spread around a number of movies.
Matthew McConaughey was named best actor in a drama for his role as AIDS patient Ron Woodroof in Dallas Buyers Club.
The actor said the award was “unexpected, but graciously accepted”.
His co-star Jared Leto also won the best supporting actor prize for his depiction of a transgender woman.
Cate Blanchett collected the best actress in a drama award for her part as a disgraced socialite in Woody Allen’s Blue Jasmine, while Leonardo DiCaprio won best actor in a comedy or musical for The Wolf of Wall Street.
American Hustle has won three Golden Globe awards at last night ceremony in Beverly Hills
Leonardo DiCaprio, who won his second Golden Globe after nine nominations, thanked director Martin Scorsese for his mentorship and for “allowing me to stalk you to make this movie”.
Alfonso Cuaron was named best director for Gravity – the only award the space movie picked up on the night – beating Steve McQueen, Paul Greengrass for Captain Phillips, Alexander Payne for Nebraska and David O. Russell for American Hustle.
The screenplay award went to Spike Jonze for his comedy romance Her. Italian film The Great Beauty won the title of best foreign language film and Disney’s Frozen took home the best animated feature award.
Robert Redford’s film All is Lost won the best original score prize, while Irish band U2 won best original song for Ordinary Love, as featured in Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom.
Coldplay and Taylor Swift had also been in the running for their songs from Hunger Games: Catching Fire and Paul Potts film One Chance respectively.
As the first major ceremony of the awards season, the winners are a likely indication of Oscar recognition when the nominations are announced later this week.
The TV categories featured a number of double award winners.
Liberace biopic Behind the Candelabra was named best TV movie/mini-series, with Michael Douglas picking up the best actor in a TV movie, series or mini-series, beating his co-star, Matt Damon.
Although the film was released in cinemas around the world, it was only shown on cable channel HBO in the US.
Breaking Bad also came away with two awards including best drama series and best actor in a drama for its star Bryan Cranston.
It was the first Golden Globe for Bryan Cranston, having been nominated for the same award every year since 2011. He was also nominated in 2003 for his role in comedy Malcolm in the Middle.
He called the award “a lovely way to say goodbye” after the series ended after five years in September.
Police caper Brooklyn Nine-Nine also collected two prizes including best comedy or musical TV series and best actor in a comedy for Andy Samberg.
Amy Poehler won best actress in a TV comedy or musical for her role in Parks and Recreation, while Robin Wright was named best actress in a drama series.
Elisabeth Moss won best actress in a TV movie or mini-series for Top of the Lake and veteran actor Jon Voight collected best supporting actor in a TV movie, series or mini-series for Ray Donovan.
Jacqueline Bisset won best supporting actress in a TV series, mini-series or TV movie – for her part in drama Dancing on the Edge.