What's it about?
A bunch of US diplomats stuck in Tehran during the 1979 Iran hostage crisis whose only hopes of making it out of the country lie in a far-fetched ruse involving an entirely bogus Hollywood movie.
Why's it nominated?
Because it tells a cracking good, fact-based yarn that manages to both entertain and excite while alluding to contemporary Middle East tensions. Director, producer and leading man Ben Affleck has been on the comeback trail of late, winning enough friends and goodwill to dispel the lingering pong of Gigli.
What are its chances?
Argo looked a dead cert for Oscars a few months ago but seems to have lost momentum since. Affleck's failure to get a best director nod is a significant snub, though with seven nominations in other categories his film can't be discounted just yet.