ARGO Takes Top Honor at PGA; Becomes Oscar Favorite For 'Best Picture'
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Ben Affleck's Argo was the recipient of the Darryl F. Zanuck Award for Outstanding Producer of Theatrical Motion Pictures at the Producer's Guild Awards, last night. It's win, in keeping with the trend, now makes it the clear favorite for 'Best Picture' at this year's Academy Awards.
Argo beat out LINCOLN, LES MISERABLES, BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD, DJANGO UNCHAINED, LIFE OF PI, SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK, ZERO DARK THIRTY, MOONRISE KINGDOM, and SKYFALL.
Director, co-producer, and star, Affleck, accepted the award, though he was not nominated for helming the film. For the past five years, the picture to win the Darryl F. Zanuck Award has also Gone on to win the top award at the Oscars.
Based on real events, the dramatic thriller Argo chronicles the life-or-death covert operation to rescue six Americans, which unfolded behind the scenes of the Iran hostage crisis, focusing on the little-known role that the CIA and Hollywood played-information that was not declassified until many years after the event. On November 4, 1979, as the Iranian revolution reaches its boiling point, militants storm the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, taking 52 Americans hostage. But, in the midst of the chaos, six Americans manage to slip away and find refuge in the home of Canadian Ambassador Ken Taylor. Knowing it is only a matter of time before the six are found out and likely killed, the Canadian and American governments ask the CIA to intervene. The CIA turns to their top "exfiltration" specialist, Tony Mendez, to come up with a plan to get the six Americans safely out of the country. A plan so incredible, it could only happen in the movies.
Affleck became known with his performances in such Kevin Smith films as Mallrats (1995), Chasing Amy (1997) and Dogma (1999). He won an Academy Award and a Golden Globe Award for the screenplay for Good Will Hunting (1997), which he co-wrote with Matt Damon, and has appeared in lead roles in such popular hits as Armageddon (1998), Pearl Harbor (2001), Changing Lanes (2002), The Sum of All Fears (2002), Daredevil (2003), Hollywoodland (2007), State of Play (2009) and The Town (2010).
The critically acclaimed director has helmed Gone Baby Gone (2007), The Town (2010) and Argo (2012),playing the lead in the latter two films. He has worked with his younger brother, actor Casey Affleck, on several projects, including Good Will Hunting and Gone Baby Gone.