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We seem to have forgotten now, but Argo director Ben Affleck used to be kind of a joke.

Remember Reindeer Games? Gigli? Changing Lanes? These cinematic train wrecks and their kind constitute what would’ve been jeeringly remembered as Affleck’s film career, had he not realized he was actually a decent director. Gone Baby Gone and The Town displayed a promising aptitude for crime thriller conventions, and a shrewd ability to draw quality performances from his actors.

Now that he’s officially an Oscar nominee for Argo, his third directorial feature, it’s as good a time as any to look back on Affleck’s first date with the little golden man.

If he wins on February 24, it will be his second Academy Award and first as a producer (even though he was snubbed in the director category). Let's go back to 1998, when he and childhood pal Matt Damon memorably accepted the Best Original Screenplay Oscar for Good Will Hunting. This funny and heartwarming video pretty much says it all:

Don’t act like this isn’t exactly how you’d behave if you won an Oscar for the first time. Like him or not, it’s good to see someone’s hard work rewarded and accepted with such joy. They even give a classy “mom” shout out, which is a must. Whether we get a repeat performance from Affleck or not is something we’ll just have to wait and see.

Zak Cheney-Rice
Editor, senior writer, The Movement