Ben Affleck Wins Critics Choice Best Director, Thanks the Academy That Snubbed Him

Oscar Nominations: Ben Affleck Doesn't Get a Nod, But Wins at Critics Choice
Ben Affleck
Kevin Winter/Getty

01/11/2013 AT 12:50 PM EST

Take that, Academy!

Hours after Ben Affleck was snubbed by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which did not give him a Best Director nomination for his film Argo, he won in the same category at Thursday night's 18th Annual Critics Choice Movie Awards in Santa Monica.

"I'd like to thank the Academy," joked Affleck, 40, while on stage to collect his hardware. "I'm kidding, I'm kidding! This is the one that counts."

Affleck's victory was greeted by thunderous applause and a standing ovation from the crowd. His absence from the field of Best Director Oscar nominees was considered one of the biggest shocks when the nominations were announced Thursday morning. Meanwhile, Argo was nominated for a Best Picture Oscar.

"It actually is very, very cool for me," Affleck said while accepting his Critics Choice Award. "There was a time where the Ben Affleck Critics Award was a Saturday Night Live sketch, so this is a very, very cool and exciting thing."

Affleck, who attended the show without wife Jennifer Garner, went on to thank his family by saying, "My daughter wrote my name on my hand for luck. I don't know how that works, but I guess it worked," he said. "I want to thank my kids and I want to thank my wife, without whom I would not be anywhere, much less here."

When Affleck returned to his table, George Clooney – a producer on Argo – greeted him with a congratulatory hug and smile, while fellow nominee David O. Russell (Silver Linings Playbook) offered his congrats by rubbing Affleck's back.

Argo also was named best picture at the Critics Choice Awards.

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