LOS ANGELES (AP) — Ben Affleck has won the top film honor from the Directors Guild of America for his CIA thriller “Argo,” further sealing its status as best-picture front-runner at the Academy Awards.
Saturday’s prize also normally would make Affleck a near shoo-in to win best-director at the Feb. 24 Oscars, since the Directors Guild recipient nearly always goes on to claim the same prize at Hollywood’s biggest night.
But Affleck surprisingly missed out on an Oscar directing nomination, along with several other key favorites, including fellow Directors Guild contenders Kathryn Bigelow for “Zero Dark Thirty” and Tom Hooper for “Les Miserables.”
Affleck’s Oscar snub has not hurt “Argo” and may even have earned it some favor among awards voters as an underdog favorite. “Argo” has dominated other awards since the Oscar nominations.
“I don’t think that this makes me a real director, but I think it means I’m on my way,” said Affleck, who won for just his third film behind the camera.
The Directors Guild honors continued Hollywood’s strange awards season, which could culminate with a big Oscar win for Affleck’s “Argo.” The guild’s prize for best director typically is a final blessing for the film that goes on to win best-picture and director at the Oscars.
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