Ben Affleck added another trophy to his shelf last night as his film Argo secured him the Best Director award at last night’s Directors Guild Awards, beating out Steven Spielberg, Kathryn Bigelow, Tom Hooper and Ang Lee.
Affleck and the film have already won top honors at the Producers Guild Awards, the Golden Globes and the Critics Choice Awards.
This of course further cements Argo into the lead position in the race for Academy Award gold at the end of the month. Historically, the winner of the DGA has had a better than average chance of winning the Academy Award for Best Director. In fact, over tha DGA’s 65 year history only six winners have not gone on to win the Oscar as well. Unfortunately, Affleck will be the seventh, as he did not receive a Best Director nom.
The hitch here comes down to a recent change in the Academy’s rules governing that nominations for Best Picture which allow anywhere between five and ten films to make the list while the Best Director category remains locked at five names. So while Argo was one of the nine named for Best Picture consideration, Affleck was not one of the five named to Best Director.
This leaves the Best Director category a bit of a wild card now, with no established predictors for it in play. Of the other DGA nominees, Spielberg and Lee are both in the OScar’s Best Director category so I would suppose that the smart money would be on them.