Affleck was seen as the latest in a long line of actors turned directors who become Oscar darlings, including previous winners Robert Redford ("Ordinary People"), Warren Beatty ("Reds"), Kevin Costner ("Dances with Wolves") and Clint Eastwood ("Unforgiven," "Million Dollar Baby") and previous nominee George Clooney ("Good Night, and Good Luck."). After two well received previous features ("Gone Baby Gone" and "The Town"), Affleck seemed poised for at the very least a nomination, if not a win. He was nominated as Best Director by both the Golden Globes and the Directors Guild of America.
Also surprisingly snubbed in the Best Director category: Kathryn Bigelow, who made history as the first ever female Best Director champion for "The Hurt Locker" in 2010. Bigelow