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LOS ANGELES (AP) — A few weeks ago, the Oscar race looked wide open. The stately, historical "Lincoln" seemed like the safe and likely choice, with the provocative "Zero Dark Thirty" and the quirky and inspiring "Silver Linings Playbook" very much in the mix for the Academy Award for best picture.
But now, an "Argo" juggernaut — an "Argo"-naut, if you will — seems to be rolling along and gathering momentum as we head toward Hollywood's top prize.
The international thriller from director Ben Affleck, who also stars as a CIA operative orchestrating a daring rescue during the 1979 Iranian hostage crisis, received the top honor of best ensemble cast in a movie at Sunday night's Screen Actors Guild Awards, their equivalent of the best-picture Oscar. It's a decent indicator of eventual Academy Awards success, with the two matching up about half the time.
The film, which also stars John Goodman and Alan Arkin as Hollywood veterans who help stage a fake movie as a cover, has received nearly unanimous critical raves and has proven to be a box-office favorite, as well, grossing nearly $190 million worldwide.
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