Ben Affleck’s Argo won top honours at Saturday night’s Directors Guild Awards (February 2, 2013), leaving even more egg on the face of the Academy voters that snubbed Affleck in the Best Director category.
The omission of Affleck from the category left many industry commentators dumbfounded, with Tom O’Neill of awards forecasting site Goldderby.com telling USA Today “what fools Oscar voters were to snub him in the best-director category. How can a movie possibly be the greatest film of the year if it doesn't have great direction? Go ahead, Oscar voters, explain that to your grandkids, who'll try to make sense of this derby someday.”
Affleck himself is taking a more reflective stance – publicly, at least – and insists that he’s happy with the recognition that Argo did receive from the Academy, despite the director’s snub. “I'm thrilled and honored that the academy nominated me as a producer of the movie," Affleck said. "I know our movie, we're a little bit underdog and a little bit the little engine that could, and you take me out of it maybe helps. … It's just about that picture. I feel like it's OK, I'm really lucky, I'm in a good place." Argo marked Affleck’s third outing as a director of a movie. He said that Saturday’s award win doesn’t make him “a real director” but added “I think it means I’m on my way.”
Argo remains the favorite to take the Best Picture Oscar. If it does, of course, that omission of Affleck from the director’s category will look even more daft. Especially given the ever-expanding number of awards that the movie (and Affleck) have been taking home of late. The Oscars take place on February 24, 2013.