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Argo boosts Oscar chances with two weekend awards

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(L-R) Chris Messina, John Goodman, Bryan Cranston, Kerry Bishe, Rory Cochrane, Ben Affleck, Victor Garber, Alan Arkin, Clea DuVall, Tate Donovan and Christopher Denham hold their awards for outstanding performance by a cast in a motion picture for the film Argo at the 19th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards in Los Angeles (L-R) Chris Messina, John Goodman, Bryan Cranston, Kerry Bishe, Rory Cochrane, Ben Affleck, Victor Garber, Alan Arkin, Clea DuVall, Tate Donovan and Christopher Denham hold their awards for outstanding performance by a cast in a motion picture for the film Argo at the 19th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards in Los Angeles
SummaryBen Affleck still has reasons to hold on to the Oscar dreams with his directorial debut.

After the much-talked about snub for being left out of the best director’s nomination, actor Ben Affleck still has reasons to hold on to the Oscar dreams with his directorial debut vehicle

I ran hostage drama Argo won its second big award in two days last month, boosting its chances of winning a best picture Oscar 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.

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 U.S. 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. Lawrence also took home a Golden Globe for playing a young widow in Silver Linings Playbook. But both SAG and the Academy Awards combine the drama and comedy categories, putting the two relative Hollywood newcomers in a head-to-head battle.

PLAYING DOWN OSCAR HOPES

British-born Daniel Day-Lewis, who has picked up a slew of awards for his intense portrayal of U.S. 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.

But the actor played down his Oscar hopes backstage. “Members of the academy love surprises, so about the worst thing that can happen to you is if you’ve built up an expectation,” Day-Lewis told reporters.

Accepting his award on stage to a

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