31 August 2012 4:10 PM, PDT | Thompson on Hollywood | See recent Thompson on Hollywood news »

Whoever thought the Telluride Film Festival wasn't on the Oscar track this year didn't figure on Ben Affleck's third film as a director, "Argo" (October 12). The buzz was building on this taut and commercial thriller, which Affleck directs with screw-tightening efficiency that would make Michael Mann proud. Multiple Oscar nominations are in order as this movie surges to the top of the current Oscar contenders list. "You're the first paying people to see the movie," Affleck told the crowd at the Chuck Jones Theater Friday afternoon. "It was a labor of love." The actor-director said he was happy to present the movie at Telluride, where people come to see movies as opposed to walking around talking about them. Affleck's only Oscar nomination to date earned him a 1998 original screenplay win with Matt Damon. Since then his best performances have been in his own films. Think "The Insider" on steroids. »

- Anne Thompson

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