'Argo' and Jennifer Lawrence closing in on the prize

Tonight at the Screen Actors Guild awards, "Argo" delivered another warning that, yes, it well could take the best picture Oscar next month. Ben Affleck's Iran hostage drama (with some comedy dropped in) won the top ensemble drama award from SAG's members (and "Downton Abbey" threw a hitch in the marketing plans for "Homeland," winning the TV ensemble award, though Claire Danes won the female acting award.) "Argo" also won the top feature-film award on Saturday night from the Producers Guild of America. The path to the Oscar is there for "Argo."

If you're trying to handicap the Oscar race for best actress, just know that the actors of SAG tonight gave the top award to Jennifer Lawrence for "Silver Linings Playbook" — over Naomi Watts, Jessica Chastain, Helen Mirren and Marion Cotillard. Boom. This award is not as good a predictor of the Oscar winner as the top picture prize award, but this was seen as the first head-to-head contest between Lawrence and Chastain. Says Steve Pond of The Wrap about this categgory: "SAG and Oscar winners have matched 12 out of 18 years, though only twice in the last five years. Last year, for example, Viola Davis won the SAG Award but Meryl Streep (with the backing of Harvey Weinstein, who this year is in Lawrence's corner) won the Oscar."

Daniel Day-Lewis won SAG's top male acting award, Tommy Lee Jones won the supporting actor SAG award and Anne Hathaway won the top female supporting actor trophy. SAG gave the lifetime achievement ward to Dick Van Dyke, who was there and did pretty well.


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