Ben Affleck: Critics Choice Awards following Oscar 'snub'
Ben Affleck and his political thriller Argo were the two big winners at the Broadcast Film Critics Association's Critics Choice Awards held last night at the Barker Hangar in Santa Monica. Affleck was the Best Director; Argo was the Best Film. Earlier in the day, Ben Affleck and Kathryn Bigelow, the director of another well-received political thriller, were two of the biggest losers when the nominations for the 2013 Academy Awards were announced. Neither Affleck nor Bigelow, the two critical favorites and most buzzed-about filmmakers this awards season, were bypassed in the Best Director category. (Photo: Ben Affleck at the Critics Choice Awards.)
"I would like to thank the Academy ... I'm kidding, I'm kidding. This is the one that counts," Ben Affleck joked while accepting his Best Director Critics Choice Award. He later told Access Hollywood: "It doesn't feel like [I got robbed by the Oscars]. We got nominated for Best Picture and seven other nominations. I guess I would've liked to personally have two, or like three, four or five for myself, but I'll take whatever we got. It's a pretty cool thing." Affleck then added: "If you go into the situation where you think you're entitled to get nominated, you're probably in trouble." (See also: "DGA Awards: Ben Affleck Is Sole Newcomer.")
But really, was Ben Affleck less than 100 percent sure he was going to be nominated for a Best Director Oscar? Only if he hadn't been paying any attention to his other awards-season accolades and to his Directors Guild of America nomination. The fact that both Ben Affleck and Kathryn Bigelow were absent from the Best Director Oscar 2013 line-up is one for the books: one – or rather, two – of the biggest upsets in Oscar history. (See also: Why Ben Affleck will no longer co-star with Kristen Stewart in Focus.)
Ben Affleck's fellow Critics Choice Awards 2013 winners
Of note: Apart from Best Director and Best Film, Ben Affleck's Argo was bypassed in every category in which it was nominated. Among the other Critics Choice Awards 2013 winners were Best Actress Jessica Chastain for Zero Dark Thirty, Best Actor Daniel Day-Lewis for Lincoln, Best Supporting Actress Anne Hathaway for Les Misérables, Best Supporting Actor Philip Seymour Hoffman for The Master, Best Young Actor/Actress Quvenzhané Wallis for Beasts of the Southern Wild, Best Documentary Searching for Sugar Man, and Best Foreign Language Film Amour.
Also: Best Original Screenplay (Quentin Tarantino) for Django Unchained, Best Adapted Screenplay (Tony Kushner) and Best Score (John Williams) for Lincoln, Best Cinematography (Claudio Miranda) and Best Visual Effects for Life of Pi, and Best Art Direction (Sarah Greenwood and Katie Spencer) and Best Costume Design (Jacqueline Durran) for Anna Karenina.
A couple more: Best Editing for Zero Dark Thirty (William Goldenberg and Dylan Tichenor) and Best Ensemble for Silver Linings Playbook (the cast includes Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro, and Jacki Weaver).
Critics Choice Awards: Skyfall, Silver Linings Playbook, Twilight Saga top populist categories
Additionally, the Critics Choice Awards feature a whole array of populist categories – it's a televised show, after all – such as Best Action Movie and Best Actress in a Comedy. Curiously, there's no Best Actress (or Actor) in a Tragedy category, which is too bad, really. Anyhow, Sam Mendes' James Bond flick Skyfall was the Best Action Movie, while David O. Russell's The Weinstein Company-distributed Silver Linings Playbook dominated the Comedy categories.
Leaving no populist stone unturned, the Critics Choice Awards have opened up their voting to the public in one new category, Best Movie Franchise. Shockingly, the winner was Twilight. The vampire-human-werewolf franchise consists of five movies featuring Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, and Taylor Lautner: Catherine Hardwicke's Twilight, Chris Weitz's New Moon, David Slade's Eclipse, and Bill Condon's Breaking Dawn Part 1 and Breaking Dawn Part 2. To date, the Twilight movies have grossed a grand total of $3.33 billion at the worldwide box office.
Ben Affleck photo: Getty Images.