2:05 am EST, February 3, 2013

Ben Affleck wins at 2013 Directors Guild Awards, ‘Argo’ near-lock for Oscars

The 2013 Directors Guild Awards were held tonight, with Ben Affleck picking up the top prize for Argo, making the film’s Best Picture chances at the Oscars all but certain. Television shows Breaking Bad and Girls also won awards.

The really crazy part of all this is that Affleck isn’t even nominated for the Academy Awards. Only six times in the DGA’s history has the Best Director winner not gone on to win at the Oscars; this year is going to be the seventh. Only twice has that happened, the last being Ron Howard for Apollo 13 – Steven Spielberg was the other in 1985 for The Color Purple.

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Apart from Argo shoring up the Best Picture race, the award makes for another interesting conversation to be had regarding the Oscars: who wins Best Director? Right now Steven Spielberg would seem a safe bet for Lincoln, although don’t discount Ang Lee and Life of Pi‘s 11 nominations.

A lot of pundits have been writing that Affleck and Argo have been sweeping the awards because of the Oscars snub, but I don’t think that’s the case. Argo was always well-liked and even won awards voted on before the Oscar nominations were released. If anything, the snub has merely reinforced the likability of the film and Affleck.

In the Documentary category, Malik Bendjelloul took home the award for Oscar-favorite Searching for Sugar Man. Looper helmer Rian Johnson picked up an award in the television category for directorial achievement in a dramatic series for his work on Breaking Bad, while Lena Dunham won in the comedic category for her work on Girls.

Milos Forman was awarded the Lifetime Achievement award.

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