Just when it seemed like there was no clear cut favorite for best picture this year “Argo” does what it has been doing since it was pushed aside after the Oscar nominations were announced, it just wins. Taking the PGA award on Saturday night and then SAG for best ensemble on Sunday, “Argo” has proven itself as the industry favorite and will likely be the victor at the Oscars in four weeks.
The PGA win is the more telling of the two awards as they use the same preferential voting system that the Academy uses for determining the best picture winner. However, SAG is a real surprise. “Argo” was thought to be behind both “Lincoln” and “Silver Linings Playbook”, but not complacent with just being the critics’ or the producers’ favorite, the film leap frogged its way to the podium as the actors’ favorite as well.
Up next is the Director’s Guild Award, and at this point Ben Affleck has to be considered the heavy favorite to give “Argo” the clean sweep of the guilds. All of this paves the way for “Argo” to be the first film since “Driving Miss Daisy” to win best picture without a nomination for best director, and only the third ever (“Grand Hotel” is the other).
Along with “Argo”, a couple other categories seemed to have been unofficially sewn up. Daniel Day-Lewis and Anne Hathaway continue their steamroll to Oscars and will have to be the victims of a heist to end up losing. Jennifer Lawrence now definitively has a lead over Jessica Chastain for best actress and is likely to win her first Oscar at the age of 22.
But even with some of the mystery that seemed present just a week ago seemingly gone, there is still a lot to debate over the next four weeks. If Affleck takes the DGA, who is the favorite for best director at the Oscars where he is absent? And does anybody have a clue on who is going to win best supporting actor?
There is little to do but just sit back and wait now. “Argo” is in the lead after being the film that has continually come from behind this awards seasons. The final, and most important, question to talk about over the next four weeks is this: can any of these other films do to the same to “Argo”? The chances aren’t great but in such a strong year for film, and with these slate of competitors, do as “Argo” has taught us and never say never.