Ben Affleck in Argo. The film is up for a best picture  Oscar.

Ben Affleck in Argo. The film is up for a best picture Oscar.

Ben Affleck’s directorial debut in “Argo,” has probably seen the end of its run with the Screen Actor’s Guild award for best cast. Internal politics and a strong field will likely scuttle its chances for the Best Picture Oscar.

The SAG award is tantamount to winning best picture, even though it honors the cast. Argo also won the Golden Globe and Critic’s Choice awards for best picture, and Affleck won a Globe for best director.

But the Oscars are a different animal, largely because of the voters who make up the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Just over 5,700 Academy members make up the voting pool, the largest among the major awards. About 2,100 members vote for the SAG Awards, while about 95 foreign correspondents choose Golden Globes winners.

The SAG awards are considered the best indicator of Oscar chances, because many SAG members also vote on Oscar contenders. But here’s where the difference lies. Academy members tend to be older and more conservative.

Despite Affleck’s considerable film resume, he’s considered to be a Hollywood outsider. Many older Hollywood types also still haven’t gotten over his career stumble over his relationship with Jennifer Lopez. When it comes to directing, he’s also a newbie.

In the last 33 years, only a handful of actors have won an Oscar for directing: Robert Redford for “Ordinary People,” Warren Beatty for “Reds,” Clint Eastwood, twice, for “Unforgiven” and “Million Dollar Baby,” Mel Gibson for “Braveheart” and Kevin Costner for “Dances With Wolves.”

Only Eastwood’s two movies, Gibson’s “Braveheart” and Costner’s “Dances With Wolves” also won best picture.

Affleck didn’t even make the shortlist for director this year, a major snub, and “Argo” is facing a crowded field in the best picture category.

Nine films are up for the award. “Les Misérables,” Steven Spielberg’s “Lincoln” “Silver Linings Playbook” and “Zero Dark Thirty” have the inside track. “Amour,” “Argo,” “Beasts of the Southern Wild” and “Django Unchained,” are all dark horses.

“The Life of Pi,” has to be considered the wildcard. Director Ang Lee won best director for 2005’s “Brokeback Mountain,” although the film was aced out for best picture by “Crash.”

Lee’s first major Hollywood film, 1995’s “Sense and Sensibility, was also nominated for a best picture Oscar. Academy members may feel he’s due for his latest beautifully shot and directed film about a young boy’s struggle to survive a ship wreck with a tiger.

Affleck and “Argo” have established an impressive track record for winning film honors. But when it comes to an Academy Award, sometimes you have to wait your turn.

Here are the SAG award winners. Be sure to catch all the latest news and analysis on awards season by following TheImproper on Twitter.

Actor: Daniel Day-Lewis, “Lincoln”
Actress: Jennifer Lawrence, “Silver Linings Playbook”
Supporting actor: Tommy Lee Jones, “Lincoln”
Supporting actress: Anne Hathaway, “Les Miserables”
Cast: “Argo”
Stunt ensemble: “Skyfall”

Actor, movie-miniseries: Kevin Costner “Hatfields & McCoys”
Actress, movie-miniseries: Julianne Moore, “Game Change”

Actor, drama series: Bryan Cranston, “Breaking Bad”
Actress, drama series: Claire Danes, “Homeland”
Actor, comedy series: Alec Baldwin, “30 Rock”
Actress, comedy series: Tina Fey, “30 Rock”
Drama, cast: “Downton Abbey”
Comedy, cast: “Modern Family”
Stunt ensemble: “Game of Thrones”

Life Achievement: Dick Van Dyke