'Argo' boosts Oscar chances with two weekend award
Updated: 2013-01-29 09:51
Director and actor Ben Affleck holds the award for outstanding performance by a cast in a motion picture for "Argo" at the 19th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards in Los Angeles, California January 27, 2013. In the background are Tate Donovan and Christopher Denham (R). [Photo/Agencies]
Iran hostage drama "Argo" won its second big award in two days on Sunday, boosting its chances of winning a best picture Oscar next month in a race that had been considered wide open.
"Argo" won best cast ensemble, the top prize, at the Screen Actors Guild Awards, while Daniel Day-Lewis and Jennifer Lawrence took lead acting honors.
|Anne Hathaway, Tommy Lee Jones win SAG awards|
|'Argo' wins Producers Guild Awards|
On Saturday, "Argo" won the Producers Guild Award - a key measure of Hollywood sentiment - beating "Lincoln," "Les Miserables," and "Silver Linings Playbook," which are all Academy Award best picture contenders.
"There was absolutely no way I thought we would win this award," the film's director and star, Ben Affleck, told reporters backstage after the SAG win. "Argo" is the true story of the rescue of US diplomats stranded in Tehran after the 1979 Islamic Revolution.
Asked about his movie's Oscar chances, Affleck said he was not in the business of "handicapping or trying to divine what's going to happen down the road."
"I don't know what's going to happen, nothing may happen, but it's a wonderful opportunity to be on the ride," Affleck added.
The Screen Actors Guild (SAG) ceremony is among the most-watched during Hollywood's awards season because actors make up the largest voting group in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which chooses the Oscar winners. The SAG honors are selected by about 100,000 actors working in the United States.
SAG prizes acting over directing, screenplay writing and other skills that usually factor into the Oscar best picture choice.
PLAYING DOWN OSCAR HOPES
British-born Day-Lewis, who has picked up a slew of awards for his intense portrayal of US President Abraham Lincoln's efforts to abolish slavery in "Lincoln," confirmed his status as front-runner for what would be his record third Oscar on February 24.