Back earlier in the season we had said that Ben Affleck’s Argo would be a top contender, and might even win Best Picture. Then the Academy Award nominations came around, and we followed suit and had mistakenly written Ben Affleck’s Argo off. This, of course, was after the director failed to receive a nomination for Best Director. Usually when that happens its considered to be game-over for any prospects of a film triumphing.
That said, what a difference a full month can make with the awards season. One thing about following the trajectory of Affleck’s career is that you come to learn that one can’t just write Affleck off without expecting a good fight. This comes from the man who has had a career resurgence after years of making critically bashed films.
Since his ultimate snub, Affleck went on to win the Critics Choice Award for Best Director and Best Film for Argo. Going from his reaction, it was a shock even for him that critics would be so in tune with the movie going audience. However, the real turning point was at the Golden Globes that saw Affleck go on to win for Best Director and Best Film In a huge upset to the favorite Lincoln. Last week Affleck also took home Best Film at the Producer’s Guild Awards.
Now we’re starting to wonder who is counting Lincoln as their favorite at this point, since the strong top contender has now fell back. It begs the question if Argo always been the won to beat all along? With a Golden Globe and now a Screen Actor’s Guild win under Affleck’s belt, the narrative for Argo suddenly changed. The narrative took a big turn after Argo’s Golden Globe, and certainly got people talking about Ben Affleck’s chances of being the best comeback story in years. The question now remains, could Ben Affleck really make history?
The last time a film won Best Picture at the Academy Awards without the director receiving a nomination was for Driving Miss Daisy in 1990. Going by last night’s awards that turn of events may be closer to a reality than ever before. Last night at The Screen Actors Guild Awards Ben Affleck took home Best Ensemble for Argo, undoubtedly the best prize of the night. The Screen Actor’s Guild was an important win, because it represents the support of the largest voting branch of the Academy Award members. Surprisingly, Argo has showed up Lincoln at almost every award show, coming out as the dark horse none of us saw coming after the Oscar nominations.
Though not too fast! Although statistically, wins across the board usually means the Academy Awards will vote in its favor, Affleck still has a few odds going against him. Argo may be in prime position to win top prize at the Academy Awards, but the Academy may still give it up to Lincoln, seeing as they nominated Steven Spielberg in the Best Director category. It can also go in Lincoln’s favor if any of the members are holding a grudge against Affleck for his poor acting choices in years past, which would be an even bigger travesty, than not voting for Affleck because he’s now the universal favorite. Then again, those voting could already think that he’s now a shoe in to win, which could cause the vote to also swing in Lincoln’s favor for lack of votes.
Even though those odds may be a stretch and it sure looks like Affleck has those odds stacked against Lincoln, Spielberg’s historical piece may still take home the prize in what critics are saying may now be an upset win. If you look across the board it looks like it’s clearly end game for Argo, but there’s one instance in Oscar history that suggests otherwise. Apollo 13 was another surprise favorite to win, as it scored big victories at the Golden Globes, the Producer’s Guild Awards, Screen Actor’s Guild and the Director’s Guild. However in the end, the Oscar went to Braveheart in 1996. This may be a repeat for the race which is now Lincoln vs Argo.
Another important awards still to come for Ben Affleck are the Writer’s Guild Awards and the Director’s Guild Awards. If Affleck can win both of those categories like Driving Miss Daisy did back in 1990, we’re going to confidently say that it’s Argo’s to lose. It would certainly make a full fledged comeback story.
Who do you think will be top dog? Is it Lincoln or Argo?