When the Oscar nominations were announced, there were few snubs more glaring and head scratching than Ben Affleck’s omission from the Best Director category. After all, “Argo” was both a critical and commercial success and a very tense, very funny thriller. Now it seems that “Argo” has all the momentum to win Best Picture at the Oscars, despite a film not winning Best Picture without its director being nominated in more than two decades.

“Argo” won the top prize at the Producers Guild Awards, an award that the film that’s gone on to win Best Picture has also won for the last five years. “Argo” also took home big awards from the Screen Actor Guild Awards.

Is “Argo” now a lock for Best Picture at the Oscars? It appears so. “Zero Dark Thirty” has lost a lot of momentum. What looked like a sure thing a few months ago now seems that, much like “Munich” or “War Horse”, Steven Spielberg’s “Lincoln” will receive an award for Daniel Day-Lewis’ performance, but nothing else. The same looks to be true for “Les Miserables” with Anne Hathaway as a lock for Best Supporting Actress, but not much more. Indeed it seems Affleck’s snub has given “Argo” a late award season boost, one that looks like will carry it all the way to the Best Picture trophy at the Oscars.

The most interesting race will be Best Actress. Clearly Jennifer Lawrence has to be the favorite after her win at the SAG. But Jessica Chastain is right behind her so don’t be surprised if she ends up winning on Oscar night.

Lukas Eggen can be reached at eggen.lukas@gmail.com.

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