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Producers Guild Awards 2013: Why Argo's Win Might Not Have Been an Upset

Ben Affleck, Argo Warner Bros.

The results of Saturday's Producers Guild Awards, which saw Ben Affleck's Argo emerge with the big prize, look bad for Steven Spielberg's Lincoln

But maybe they shouldn't.

The three big takeaways from the 24th Annual Producers Guild Awards:

Argo, Modern Family top Producers Guild Awards

1. Maybe Argo, Not Lincoln, Has Always Been the Best Picture Film to Beat: Lincoln has looked like a winner because it's Lincoln--a very good movie about a very important subject by a very important director and featuring a peerless performance by Daniel Day-Lewis. Argo, though perhaps more loved than the respected Lincoln, looked fatally wounded when Affleck didn't earn a Best Director Oscar nomination. But in the wake of the Producers Guild Awards, it's possible the snub was a one-off thing, reflecting a glitch that members of the directing branch had with Affleck, and not the admiration of the overall Academy.

2. Maybe Lincoln Is Just Fine: There was a not-far-off time there in the aughts when the Producers Guild Awards couldn't get anything right, Oscar-predicting-wise. In the film years from 2004-2006, not a single film turned its trophy from the producers into an Academy Award statuette. The bottom line, part one: The Oscars is the only show that's the Oscars; its voters are the only ones who count. Otherwise, The Aviator, Brokeback Mountain and Little Miss Sunshine would be Best Picture winners instead of Million Dollar Baby, Crash and The Departed, respectively. The bottom line, part two: Lincoln still ain't a bad bet for Best Picture. If Spielberg can book Bill Clinton at the Golden Globes, he can do a lot.

3. Tonight's Screen Actors Guild Awards Are Really, Really, Really Important: The results of the ensemble cast award could be the big tell. Does Argo have the popular support of the Academy's largest voting branch, or does Lincoln? Cliffhangers are the best.

Stars shine at the 2013 Producers Guild Awards

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