LOS ANGELES – Despite the widespread critical acclaim generated by political thriller "Argo," which documents the trials and tribulations of the CIA rescue of six U.S. diplomats during the 1979 Iran hostage crisis, Ben Affleck was surprisingly overlooked as Best Director in this year's slate of Oscar nominations.
Many critics called Affleck's directorial diss the "biggest snub of all," and even Oscar nominee Bradley Cooper said that he "got robbed," although the film did receive seven nominations overall.
However, Thursday's Critics Choice Movie Awards -- considered a reliable predictor for the Oscars -- gave the Best Director nod to an absolutely shocked Affleck, prompting many backstage whispers that his much-deserved win was a real "stick it" to the Academy.
And he wasted no time addressing the issue.
"I would like to thank the Academy... I'm kidding, I'm kidding. This is the one that counts," Affleck said in his acceptance speech.
The other political film dominating this awards season is Kathryn Bigelow's "Zero Dark Thirty," about the hunt for and killing of Osama bin Laden. It has been steeped in controversy since its inception.
But the film's star, Jessica Chastain, couldn't be more pleased with the often negative attention.
"I love it - to be involved in a movie that is more than just entertainment," said Chastain after winning the Critics Choice Award for Best Actress. "Kathryn Bigelow is saying, 'what do you think?' and forces the audience to participate. We have to look at the last decade and as a society we need to ask, 'where do we go from here?'"