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British Academy loves 'Argo,' 'Skyfall'

| Sunday, Feb. 10, 2013, 10:09 p.m.

LONDON — Iran-hostage drama “Argo” continued its journey from awards-season outsider to favorite Sunday, winning three prizes, including best picture, at the British Academy Film Awards.

Ben Affleck, named best director for the based-on-reality story of a longshot plan to rescue a group of American diplomats from Iran, dedicated his directing prize for “anyone out there who's trying to get their second act.”

“Skyfall” was a surprise win for best British film. It was the first award for the 007 franchise since 1963, when it received a nod for cinematography for “From Russia With Love.”

Aside from that, the Bond films received 42 nominations over the past 50 years, largely for technical awards rather than the more glamorous acting or best film categories.

Skyfall also received the award for best original music.

“We all had high expectations for this film, and this is really the icing on the cake,” director Sam Mendes said.

Daniel Day-Lewis won his universally expected best-actor trophy for “Lincoln” — the only prize out of 10 nominations for Steven Spielberg's biopic.

Day-Lewis paid tribute to his fellow nominees, who included Affleck, Bradley Cooper, Hugh Jackman and Joaquin Phoenix.

“I don't know if I deserve this, but I do know that every single one of you deserve it at least every bit as I do,” he said.

Emmanuelle Riva, the 85-year-old French film legend, was named best actress for her poignant portrait of old age in “Amour.” It was named best foreign-language film.

“Les Miserables” won four prizes, including best supporting actress for Anne Hathaway.

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