With Argo's Ben Affleck (not shockingly) triumphing over Lincoln's Steven Spielberg and the rest of the field at Saturday night's Directors Guild of America Awards, the old axiom of Hollywood applies to the current awards season: Nobody knows anything.
Going forward, what Argo and Lincoln both will now attempt to do at the Oscars is almost without precedent.
As noted earlier, in the modern history of the three big guild awards, only one film since 1996 has lost the Oscar Best Picture prize after sweeping the Producers Guild, Screen Actors Guild and DGA awards.
But hold off just now on handing the statuette to Argo…
The Academy scrambled the race on Jan. 10 when it failed to nominate Affleck for Best Director.
As often pointed out, in the long history of the Oscars, only one film has ever won Best Picture without the benefit of at least a corresponding Best Director nomination.
But hold off just now on clearing Lincoln's path to victory…
Oscar voting won't begin until this coming Friday. Oscar voting won't close until Feb. 21.
For the Academy member, the time frame isn't all that unique, but the questions to ponder during it are: Do I really, truly like Argo best of all? Can I really, truly not vote for a Spielberg movie that's about, odds are, one of my top three all-time favorite presidents? Do I really, truly want to expose the directing branch as having massively messed up with the Affleck snub?
Here's betting Oscar voters haven't pondered so hard since 2006, the last time the Best Director-Best Picture ticket was split, with Brokeback Mountain's Ang Lee taking the former, and Crash taking the latter.
And here's betting Oscar watchers haven't wondered so hard since 2006, either.
Yes, history is on the side of Argo. But history is also on the side of Lincoln. Nobody knows anything else for sure—until the Best Picture envelope is opened on Feb. 24.
Here's a look at some of the top winners from the 2012 DGA Awards:
Feature film: Ben Affleck, Argo
Drama series: Breaking Bad
Comedy series: Girls
Reality program: MasterChef
TV-movie/miniseries: Game Change
Documentary: Searching for Sugar Man