Just hours after seeing its Oscar hopes dim, "Argo" pulled off an upset at the 18th annual Critics' Choice Awards on Thursday, winning Best Picture over frontrunner "Lincoln." And the film's helmer Ben Affleck won Best Director, some small consolation after being snubbed by the academy.
These kudos bestowed by the 250 members of the Broadcast Film Critics' Assn. often go to the eventual Oscar champs. (See complete list of winners here)
Steven Spielberg's biopic of America's 16th president reaped a record 13 nominations but won just three awards: Actor (Daniel Day-Lewis), Adapted Screenplay and Score.
The resurgent "Silver Linings Playbook" claimed Ensemble as well as all three comedy prizes for Film, Actor (Bradley Cooper) and Actress (Jennifer Lawrence). Lawrence picked up a bookend when she won Action Film Actress for "The Hunger Games."
"Life of Pi" picked up two prizes -- Cinematography and Visual Effects -- from eight bids.
"Anna Karenina" won both of its races: Production Design and Costume Design.
And "Skyfall" took just one of its four main races -- Song -- as well as two action awards for film and actor (Daniel Craig).
Over the 17 years of these kudos, they have proven to be the most accurate precursor prizes to the Oscars. The BFCA has predicted 11 Best Picture, 11 Best Actor, 10 Best Actress, 10 Supporting Actress and nine Supporting Actor Oscar winners.
Last year, the BFCA went with "The Artist" for Best Picture while two supporting BFCA winners -- Christopher Plummer ("Beginners") and Octavia Spencer ("The Help") -- went on to claim Oscars. The BFCA also presaged Director ("The Artist"), Original Screenplay ("Midnight in Paris"), Art Direction ("Hugo"), Costume Design ("The Artist"), Editing ("The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo"), Animated Feature ("Rango") and Foreign Language Film ("A Separation").
In 2010, all four of the Critic's Choice choices for acting repeated at the Oscars. However, this critics' group went with "The Social Network" for the top film of the year while the motion picture academy preferred "The King's Speech."
The two groups also agreed on: Original Screenplay ("The King's Speech), Adapted Screenplay ("The Social Network"), Cinematography ("Inception"), Costume Design ("Alice in Wonderland"), Score ("The Social Network"), Sound ("Inception"), Visual Effects ("Inception") and Animated Feature ("Toy Story 3").