Ben Affleck Gets to 'Thank the Academy' ... at the Critics' Choice Awards

Esther Zuckerman
The Atlantic Wire
Ben Affleck Gets to 'Thank the Academy' ... at the Critics' Choice Awards

It was the sob story of the Oscar snubs Thursday morning: poor Ben Affleck didn't get nominated for Best Director for his lauded work on Argo. But by Thursday night Affleck got his revenge, accepting the award for Best Director at the Critics' Choice Awards and taking the opportunity to "thank the Academy."

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"I'm kidding, I'm kidding," he continued. "This is the one that counts."

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Affleck, whose film took home Best Picture at the Critics' Choice Awards, also poked fun at the reputation Argo has helped him shake off, joking that at one point a critics' award for Ben Affleck meant a "Saturday Night Live sketch." As Brent Lang at The Wrap points out, the timing of the Critics' Choice Awards (handed out by the Broadcast Film Critics Association) was unusually and particularly "awkward" this year. This was the first time the ceremony was held after the Oscar nomination announcement.

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So what does Argo's win last night mean? It's not clear. CBS News notes that the Critics' Choice Awards aren't always a great predictor for the Oscars, and as Sasha Stone of Awards Daily pointed out on Twitter: 

At tonight's CCMAs the ballots were turned in before the Oscar nominations so they had no way of knowing Argo and ZDT would be zapped.

— Sasha Stone (@AwardsDaily) January 10, 2013

But Affleck wasn't the only Oscar snub to get acknowledged at the awkwardly timed follow-up awards. In her speech after winning Best Actress for her work in Zero Dark Thirty last night, Jessica Chastain held back tears when talking about her director, Kathryn Bigelow, who also didn't receive a nomination earlier that morning. "In my moments of deepest doubt lifted me up," she said. "Your tenacity and fearless filmmaking will always stand as model for me. You're an inspiration to me."

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The entire evening wasn't so serious, though. Beast of the Southern Wild's Quvenzhané Wallis read her acceptance speech for Best Young Actor/Actress off an iPhone that was almost as big as her face, and during her acceptance speech for Best Supporting Actress, Les Misérables's Anne Hathaway pointed out that the Critics' Choice Awards had spelled her name wrong (without the "e") across the screen behind her. Lincoln's Daniel Day-Lewis also got weird during his acceptance speech for Best Actor, going off on a tangent about the "porta-cabins."