But "Argo" also won the Producers Guild of America Award on Saturday night, which is an excellent Oscar predictor, and it earned best picture and director statues from the Golden Globes two weeks earlier. The Directors Guild of America Awards next Saturday will help crystallize the situation even further.
The one tricky thing at work here: Affleck surprisingly didn't receive an Academy Award nomination in the director category, which most often goes hand in hand with best picture. (There are nine best-picture nominees but only five slots for directors.) Only once in modern times has a film won best picture without a directing nomination: 1989's "Driving Miss Daisy." The other two times came in the show's early years, at the first Oscars in 1929 with "Wings" and for 1932's "Grand Hotel."
Asked backstage at the SAG Awards what might happen when the Oscar winners are announced Feb. 24, Affleck said: "I don't do handicapping or try to divine what's going to happen down the road with movies.
"I didn't get nominated as a director and I thought, 'OK, that's that.' Then I remembered that I was nominated as a producer," said Affleck, who already has an original screenplay Oscar for writing 1997's "Good Will Hunting" with longtime friend Matt Damon. "Nothing may happen but it's a wonderful opportunity to be on the ride and I'm really honored."