Argo, meanwhile, won Best Picture and two other top awards, including Best Director for Affleck, who, as Spielberg’s continued bad luck would have it, apparently couldn’t even vote for himself. (Affleck’s not listed as a BAFTA member.)
Argo’s triumph is key not only because of what it says about how (some) Academy members are leaning, but because of what it says about Argo—and its appeal.
Since 2000 and up until Sunday, the distinctly British-accented BAFTA Awards had honored only two films about Americans as directed by U.S.-born filmmakers with Best Picture. To join the exclusive club, Argo had to bridge the divide, and triumph over not so much Lincoln (another very American story), but Les Misérables, directed by Londoner Tom Hooper, and Life of Pi, directed by international favorite Ang Lee.