The CIA thriller "Argo'' continued to steamroll through awards season, winning the top honor for overall cast performance at the Screen Actors Guild Awards.
SAG's lead-acting honors Sunday went to Jennifer Lawrence for her role as a troubled widow in a shaky new relationship in the lost-souls romance "Silver Linings Playbook'' and Daniel Day-Lewis as Abraham Lincoln in the Civil War epic "Lincoln.''
Anne Hathaway of "Les Miserables'' and Tommy Lee Jones of "Lincoln'' won the supporting-acting honors.
"It occurred to me – it was an actor that murdered Abraham Lincoln,'' said Day-Lewis, a solid front-runner to join an exclusive list of three-time acting Oscar winners. "And therefore, somehow it is only so fitting that every now and then an actor tries to bring him back to life again.''
It was a brisk, businesslike and fairly bland evening as the actors union handed out honors to a predictable lineup of winners who generally had triumphed at earlier Hollywood ceremonies or past SAG shows.
The SAG cast win came a day after "Argo'' claimed the top honor from the Producers Guild of America, whose winner often goes on to claim best picture at the Academy Awards. "Argo'' also was a surprise victor two weeks ago at the Golden Globes, where it won best drama and director for Ben Affleck.
The awards momentum positions "Argo'' for a rare feat at the Feb. 24 Oscars, where it could become just the fourth film in 85 years to be named best picture without a nomination for its director.
"To me this has nothing to do with me, it has to do with the incredible people who were in this movie,'' said Affleck, who also stars in "Argo'' and accepted the SAG prize alongside his cast.
Affleck plays CIA agent Tony Mendez, who masterminded the daring rescue of six U.S. embassy workers in Iran after the 1979 hostage crisis erupted. The Americans were brought out of Iran masquerading as crew members of a fake Hollywood sci-fi movie scouting locations.
A directing nomination at the Oscars usually goes hand in hand with a best-picture win. When Affleck was snubbed for a directing slot, awards analysts initially were counting "Argo'' out for the best-picture Oscar, along with Kathryn Bigelow's "Zero Dark Thirty'' and Tom Hooper's "Les Miserables,'' which also missed out on directing nominations.
Only once in modern times has a film won best picture without a directing nomination, with 1989's "Driving Miss Daisy.'' The other two