The House Guests in Argo (Photo : Warner Brothers)
"Argo" received the Producers Guild of America Award and the Screen Actors Guild Award for Best Ensemble this past weekend. The double set of victories propelled it to the front-running position to win the Oscar.
"Argo" has now received a Golden Globe, a Critics Choice, the PGA and SAG as well as numerous critcs' circle awards for Best Picture. The film seems to have the right ingredients to win the Best Picture at the Oscars after sweeping all the major awards. However the big elephant in the room continues to be the Best Directing snub; coud "Argo" be the first film since 1989 to win the top Oscar without having a chance at the Best Director award?
In Oscar history only three films have won the best picture award without a directing award; the last one was the 1989 winner "Driving Miss Daisy." Additionally the PGA have a history of diverging Oscars with only 15 out of 23 films winning both the PGA and Academy's Best Picture awards. The last time the PGA predicted the wrong winner was in 2007 when "Little Miss Sunshine" won the best picture award but failed to capture the Oscar.
The SAG are also known for diverging with the Academy; SAG awarded "The Help" over 2012's Best Picture winner "The Artist" and in 2009 the organization picked "Inglorious Basterds" over eventual Oscar winner "The Hurt Locker."
More importantly, the last time a film won both SAG and PGA was when "Little Miss Sunshine" won both honors. The film also went on to win the Writers Guild of America for Best screenplay but lost the DGA. While it was nominated for all four Guilds it missed the Oscar nomination for best director at the Oscars. The film failed to win the DGA and that made all the difference.
One difference between "Little Miss Sunshine" and "Argo" is that while "Little Miss Sunshine" was only nominated for four Oscars, "Argo" was nominated for seven and also obtained the editing award which is said to be one of the most important nominations needed on the road to obtaining the Best Picture award.
"Little Miss Sunshine" also lost the Critics' Choice awards which are good predictors of the Oscar race and also failed to win the BAFTA award which contains many Academy voters. The BAFTA will be handed out in early February this year.
As a result it is still too close to call the race. In order to become the unbeatable front-runner it needs to win the Directors Guild of America and the Writers Guild. A BAFTA win could also help "Argo's" chances. However a loss at any of these Guilds can cost the film the Oscar race.