Another award confirms Argo as Oscar favourite

CIA thrillers Argo and Zero Dark Thirty won top screenplay honours yesterday from the Writers Guild of America.

The guild’s adapted screenplay award went to Chris Terrio for Argo, director Ben Affleck’s tale of the CIA’s daring masquerade of six US diplomats as a Hollywood film crew to rescue them from Iran during the hostage crisis there.

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Mark Boal won the prize for original screenplay for Zero Dark Thirty, director Kathryn Bigelow’s chronicle of the CIA’s manhunt for al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden.

The guild was the last of Hollywood’s major trade unions to weigh in on the year’s top films before Sunday’s Academy Awards.

Argo has emerged as the best-picture favourite for the Oscars after awards from the Directors Guild of America, the Screen Actors Guild and the Producers Guild of America.