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Ben Affleck's Big BAFTA Awards Wins for Argo: What They Mean for the Oscars

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Ben Affleck, Argo
Ben Affleck, Argo Warner Bros. Entertainmen

Another awards show, another big win(s) for Ben Affleck's Argo.

And, most important for Oscar watchers, another big tell.

Like the guild awards before them, the British Academy Film Awards (BAFTA) are voted on, in part, by the same people who will decide the winners of the Feb. 24 Academy Awards.

Catch the full winners list from Sunday's BAFTA Awards

When asked Monday, BAFTA didn't know offhand the percentage of crossover membership, but a perusing of the group's membership is like playing a game of "Spot the Oscar Voters." Wes Anderson, Colin Firth, Christopher Nolan, Martin Scorsese and Steven Spielberg are but a handful of the bold-faced names who belong to both the British and Motion Picture academies.  

Notably, Spielberg's BAFTA vote didn't help him or Lincoln on Sunday. Outside of Daniel Day-Lewis' obligatory Best Actor honor, the film was shut out despite scoring a field-best 10 nominations.

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.)

Spielberg's surprise BAFTA snub

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.

Argo did it all.

And the odds continue to say it'll do it all again on Oscar night.

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