(CNN) — “Argo,” praise yourself.
That’s what Hollywood did on Sunday night, anyway.
“Argo,” which told the story of the rescue operation that saved six Americans during the Iran hostage crisis, took home three Oscars at the 85th Academy Awards, including the biggest award of the night: best picture.
It was both an expected and yet unlikely conclusion to an awards season that took off in strange directions, though it ended up pretty much where the Oscar prognosticators thought it would.
Director Ben Affleck, who co-produced the film with George Clooney and Grant Heslov, acknowledged the strangeness of the process in his acceptance speech.
Back in early January, “Argo” was considered an Oscar also-ran, if only because Affleck was overlooked in the best director category. In the entire history of the Oscars, just three films had won best picture without a directing nomination, and just one, “Driving Miss Daisy,” in the last 80 years.
But then the film caught fire, winning awards from the producers’, directors’ and actors’ guilds, as well as a Golden Globe, AFI Award and BAFTA. The bandwagon seemed unstoppable, except for that lack of a directing nomination.
Affleck, however, really was happy just to be here and gave a nod to his up-and-down past in his speech.
“I never thought I would be back here, and I am,” he said, thanking many people who were kind to him in Hollywood when he couldn’t repay them.
The film was also honored for its screenplay, by Chris Terrio, and William Goldenberg’s editing.
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