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"ARGO" is frontrunner to be next Pope

Hollywood - Following its success at yesterdays BAFTAs and its string of high profile Guild wins, Ben Affleck's Iranian hostage drama "Argo" is now in a strong position to replace Pope Benedict XVI as the leader of the world's 1 billion Catholics. "I don't see how 'Argo' can lose," Cardinal Mulroney of the Beverly Hills Archdiocese said in a phone interview with Variety. "Ben Affleck may have been snubbed by the Academy, but 'Argo's tale of faith and resilience is clearly resonating with the Catholic community. There couldn't be a more timely film to represent the Lord's eternal love for man." While Vatican followers had long pegged Ghanian Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson as the next likely Pontiff, Mulroney says that "Argo"'s universal appeal and feel-good ending mark a return to a more classical tradition. "Cardinal Turkson was the odds-on favorite with the critics, but lost all his momentum following the Golden Globes. He really needed the recognition of at least one of the Guilds in order to make the argument that he was ready to embody Christ's presence on Earth." Director Ben Affleck announced plans to fly to Rome to personally screen the film for the Council of Cardinals in advance of the Pontifical selection. He also revealed that he will have his children Violet, Seraphina, and Samuel baptized at St. Peter's Basilica under the names Mary Elizabeth, Mary Beatrice, and Simon Peter.

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