Ben Affleck’s ‘Argo’ wins big at DGA

Ben Affleck’s ‘Argo’ wins big at DGA

LOS ANGELES - Agence France-Presse
Ben Affleck’s ‘Argo’ wins big at DGA

Ben Affleck poses with his award for outstanding directorial achievement in feature film for ‘Argo.’ AP photo

Actor-turned-filmmaker Ben Affleck won the top honor from his peers at the Directors Guild of America on Feb. 2 for the movie “Argo,” cementing the Iran hostage drama’s frontrunner status for the Oscars.

The Hollywood directors’ recognition for Affleck, however, is an awkward result for the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, which failed to nominate him for Best Director in what is considered one of the biggest snubs of this year’s Oscars.

Since 1948, there have been only six occasions when the Directors Guild of America (DGA) winner has not gone on to win the Oscar for Best Director.

“I have nothing but respect for the Academy,” Affleck said after collecting his first DGA award. The Hollywood star, a producer of “Argo,” said he was thrilled the film was nominated for the Oscars’ Best Picture award. “You are not entitled to win anything,” he said.

“Argo” has picked up the three top awards from the industry’s guilds, whose members are also often members of the Academy.

Affleck bested four directors who had all previously won the top DGA honor and gone on to win the Best Director Oscar.

It has been a particularly tough awards season for Spielberg, nominated by the DGA for the 11th time with “Lincoln” and a two-time winner for “Schindler’s List” in 1994 and “Saving Private Ryan” in 1999.

Affleck also beat out Kathryn Bigelow, nominated for Osama bin Laden-manhunt thriller “Zero Dark Thirty,” Ang Lee for his 3D adaptation of the bestselling novel “Life of Pi,” and Tom Hooper, for his screen adaptation of the hit musical “Les Miserables.”