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Argo triumphs at Critics' Choice Awards


Story by Jack Foley

BEN Affleck’s Argo has emerged as the big winner at this year’s Critics’ Choice Awards.

The hostage drama, based on real events, was named best film, while Affleck himself took best director.

The accolades came just hours after Affleck had missed out on an Oscar nomination for best director or actor and prompted him to jokingly “thank the Academy” as he accepted the prize.

He then added: “This is the one that counts.”

Affleck lost out in the best actor category to Oscar favourite Daniel Day Lewis, who took yet another prize for Lincoln, while Jessica Chastain won the best actress prizes for Osama bin Laden movie Zero Dark Thirty.

While Argo emerged as the toast of the dramatic categories, Silver Linings Playbook continued its amazing run of success by sweeping the board on the comedy side of things.

The film won best comedy actor and actress for leads Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence, best comedy film and best ensemble for a cast that includes Oscar nominees Robert De Niro and Jacki Weaver.

David O Russell’s film turned heads during the Academy Award nominations by becoming the first film since Warren Beatty’s REDS in 1981 to secure nominations in all six of the main categories.

O Russell dedicated his award to his son – who, like the film’s male lead has bipolar disorder – saying: “I made it to give him hope… that’s my silver lining.”

While Lawrence joked: “Critics aren’t so bad!”

The awards also bestowed several honours upon James Bond movie Skyfall, including best action movie.

Leading man Daniel Craig also picked up the best actor in an action film prize while Adele won the best song award for the title song Skyfall, a prize she is tipped to win at the Oscars.

Les MiserablesAnne Hathaway was named best supporting actress and Philip Seymour Hoffman took the best supporting actor prize for his performance as a cult leader in The Master.

Nine-year-old Quvenzhane Wallis, who became the youngest actress to secure an Oscar nomination, won in the best young actor or actress category for her performance in Beasts of the Southern Wild.

Further winners included Michael Haneke’s Amour, which won best foreign film, and Quentin Tarantino, who picked up best original screenplay for his spaghetti western-style film Django Unchained.

Comedy writer and director Judd Apatow, best known for box office hits such as The 40 Year Old Virgin and Knocked Up, received a special “genius” award created to honour “an unprecedented demonstration of excellence in the cinematic arts”.