So Is 'Argo' Really a Lock for Best Picture Now?

Two big weekend wins for Argo have the Hollywood pundits saying that its Best Picture chances have transformed from Academy snub to Golden Globes surprise to, suddenly, a done deal at the Oscars. Will all this make the biggest prize turn from dramatic to, well, boring?

This article is from the archive of our partner .

Two big weekend wins for Argo have the Hollywood pundits saying that its Best Picture chances have transformed from Academy snub to Golden Globes surprise to, suddenly, a done deal at the Oscars. On Saturday, the Ben Affleck-helmed thriller took home the top prize at the Producers Guild Awards. Then it won the Best Ensemble award at the Screen Actors Guild festivities on Sunday. Will all this make the biggest Oscar prize turn from dramatic to, well, boring? The Hollywood Reporter's Scott Feinberg tweeted:

Earlier that day Feinberg had written that Argo's Producers Guild Award had made "it virtually impossible to argue any longer that a film other than Argo -- say, Les Miserables, Life of Pi, Lincoln, Silver Linings Playbook, Zero Dark Thirty -- is currently in the best picture Oscar's pole position, because they haven't won anything yet."

Awards Daily's Sasha Stone also echoed Feinberg, with a caveat:

Even before the SAG ceremony, Roger Ebert was touting his prediction from September:

And though in summing up the PGA prizes, Pete Hammond of Deadline was more "tentative," he also noted: "Argo could be emerging as a kind of consensus choice in a year of outstanding films, a beneficiary of a severely split vote. It is significant that the PGA uses the same preferential vote counting system as the Academy so there is a high level of correlation between the two groups." Following the SAG awards Hammond wrote "there can be no question now that Argo is on a roll. Voters just seem to like this picture, and sometimes that’s all it takes."

But let's not forget that Ben Affleck's Best Director snub by the Academy had everyone all but discounting Argo's chances. As Feinberg notes, only three films ever have won Best Picture without a Best Director nomination. That said, Argo went on to win Best Picture at the Critics' Choice Awards and the Golden Globes, though those were less telling than this weekend's accolades, Feinberg explains, since those prizes are given out by press as opposed to Academy voting blocs.

The SAG ensemble award is not necessarily the best predictor for the Oscars in and of itself. The films that take the prize have often not matched up with the Best Picture winner. (In 1997 The Birdcage beat out The English Patient, which went on to win the Oscar. Hank Azaria was amazing.) But Feinberg makes the case that it's the combo of Argo's prizes that imply front-runner status:

So what else did this weekend tell us about the Oscars? In a tight race Jennifer Lawrence might have the edge for Best Actress. She took home the SAG prize Sunday night though as Feinberg tweeted, last year saw Viola Davis winning the SAG award for The Help but ultimately losing the Oscar to Meryl Streep in The Iron Lady.

With two Oscar nominees not even competing for the trophy in this category — the old Emmanuelle Riva and the young Quvenzhané Wallis — and Sony's lack of SAG campaigning for Jessica Chastain, Hammond at Deadline writes that "this race could still be strongly competitive though Lawrence’s heartfelt speech and win gives her a definite boost."

But don't count out commitment: Lawrence accepted her SAG even after having what some are calling a wardrobe malfunction, but others are insisting was just trouble with a complicated Dior gown...

...and having walking pneumonia.

Daniel Day-Lewis took home the SAG award for Best Actor, but that doesn't tell us much since it seemed like a done deal since he signed on to the film.

Though there's always the possibility for the upset, February 24 could make for a fairly boring Oscar night. You can check out all the SAG winners in our wrap-up right here.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.