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 was named best director for the based-on-reality story of a long-shot plan to rescue a group of American diplomats from Iran after the 1979 Islamic Revolution, and the film also took the editing trophy.
Daniel Day-Lewis won his universally expected best actor trophy for "Lincoln" -- the only prize out of 10 nominations for Steven Spielberg's historical biopic.
Day-Lewis -- a famously intense actor who reportedly stayed in character as the 16th U.S. president throughout the "Lincoln" shoot -- cracked a joke as he was given his prize. He said that in anticipation of having to make an acceptance speech, "I've actually stayed in character as myself for the last 55 years."
Made-in-Britain French revolutionary musical "Les Miserables" won four prizes, including best supporting actress for Anne Hathaway. James Bond adventure "Skyfall" spied some elusive awards recognition, winning trophies for music and best British film.
The British awards, known as BAFTAs, are increasingly glamorous and ever-more scrutinized as an indicator of likely success at the Hollywood Oscars.
This year, they spread their honors widely, with multiple trophies for "Life of Pi," ''Silver Linings Playbook," "Amour" and "Django Unchained," as well as "Argo." Argo is now considered a front-runner for the best picture award at the Oscars on Feb. 24, even though Affleck was not nominated for best director there.
Sunday's ceremony also saw director Alan Parker receive a BAFTA Fellowship, the academy's highest honor, for a career that includes "Midnight Express," ''Fame" and "Mississippi Burning."Superdome lights stay on
This time, the lights stayed on in the Superdome. The glitzy Mardi Gras Krewe of Endymion rolled its parade and super float through the Superdome on Saturday night and Kelly Clarkson performed amid purple, green and gold lights in the first major event at the venue since the Super Bowl blackout. While the black tie ball was nowhere near the size of the championship game a week ago, it was a test for dome officials and the stadium's electricity provider, Entergy, which has come under scrutiny since the lights went dark for more than a half hour. The bright stadium lights were dimmed for the ball, but there were no signs of any electrical problems.
NO SHOW CUZ OF SNOW: The BoDeans concert set for Monday at the Guthrie Theater has been canceled due to weather. The band apparently was in Kansas City, where they performed Saturday, and could not make it to the Twin Cities in time. The show will not be rescheduled. Refunds are available at the place of purchase.