The Free Press, Mankato, MN

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January 27, 2013

'Argo' builds Oscar momentum with cast win from Screen Actors Guild

LOS ANGELES — The CIA thriller “Argo” continues to steamroll through awards season, winning the top honor for overall cast performance at the Screen Actors Guild Awards.

SAG’s lead-acting honors Sunday went to Jennifer Lawrence won for her role as a troubled widow in a shaky new relationship in the lost-souls romance “Silver Linings Playbook” and Daniel Day-Lewis as Abraham Lincoln in the Civil War epic “Lincoln.”

The supporting film awards Sunday went to Anne Hathaway of “Les Miserables” and Tommy Lee Jones of “Lincoln.”

“It occurred to me — it was an actor that murdered Abraham Lincoln,” said Day-Lewis, a solid front-runner to join an exclusive list of three-time acting Oscar winners. “And therefore, somehow it is only so fitting that every now and then an actor tries to bring him back to life again.”

The SAG cast win came a day after “Argo” claimed the top honor from the Producers Guild of America, whose winner often goes on to claim best picture at the Academy Awards. “Argo” also was a surprise victor two weeks ago at the Golden Globes, where it won best drama and director for Ben Affleck.

The award momentum positions “Argo” for a rare feat at the Feb. 24 Oscars, where it could become just the fourth film in 85 years to be named best picture without a nomination for its director.

“To me this has nothing to do with me, it has to do with the incredible people who were in this movie,” said Affleck, who also stars in “Argo” and accepted the SAG prize alongside his cast.

It was a brisk, businesslike and fairly bland evening as the actors union handed out honors to a predictable lineup of winners who generally had triumphed at earlier Hollywood ceremonies or past SAG shows.

“Now I have this naked statue that means some of you even voted for me, and that is an indescribable feeling,” “Silver Linings” star Lawrence said after explaining she earned her SAG card at age 14 by filming a spot for MTV.

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