DGA: Another big night for Affleck's 'Argo'?
FILE - In this Sunday, Jan. 27, 2013 file photo, actor Ben Affleck poses backstage with the award for best cast in a motion picture for "Argo" at the 19th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. A best-picture win at the upcoming Oscars could be viewed as righting a wrong after Affleck inexplicably missed out on a best-director nomination. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File)
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Hollywood's strange awards season continues with another ceremony that could firm up a big Oscar win for Ben Affleck's "Argo."
The Directors Guild of America hands out prizes Saturday night in Los Angeles in what typically is a final blessing for the film that goes on to win best-picture and director at the Academy Awards.
Affleck can go only one-for-two at the Oscars, though. He's up for the film honor at the guild awards, and "Argo" is looking like the best-picture favorite at the Oscars on Feb. 24. But the director's branch of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences overlooked him and several other key filmmakers for an Oscar directing slot.
The guild and Oscar directing lineups usually match up closely, but they have little in common this season, with only Steven Spielberg for "Lincoln" and Ang Lee for "Life of Pi" nominated at both shows.
Along with them and Affleck, the guild nominated Kathryn Bigelow for "Zero Dark Thirty" and Tom Hooper for "Les Miserables." At the Oscars, Spielberg and Lee are joined in the directing category by Michael Haneke for "Amour," David O. Russell for "Silver Linings Playbook" and Benh Zeitlin for "Beasts of the Southern Wild."
With 12 Oscar nominations, Spielberg's Civil War saga initially looked like the Oscar favorite over such other potential favorites as "Argo," ''Les Miserables" and "Zero Dark Thirty," since films generally have little chance of winning best picture if they are not nominated for best director. Only three films have done it in 84 years, most recently 1989's best-picture champ "Driving Miss Daisy," which failed to earn a directing nomination for Bruce Beresford.
FILE - This undated publicity film image released by Warner Bros. Pictures shows Bryan Cranston, left, as Jack O'Donnell and Ben Affleck as Tony Mendez in "Argo," a rescue thriller about the 1979 Iranian hostage crisis. A best-picture win at the upcoming Oscars could be viewed as righting a wrong after Affleck inexplicably missed out on a best-director nomination. (AP Photo/Warner Bros., Claire Folger, File)
But Affleck's "Argo," in which he also stars as a CIA operative who hatches a bold plan to rescue six Americans during the hostage crisis in Iran, has been sweeping up all the major awards since the Oscar nominations. "Argo" won best drama and director at the Golden Globes and top film honors from the Screen Actors Guild and the Producers Guild of America.