Argo storms to Oscar triumph on night of surprises

85th Academy Awards turned out to be a night of surprises for winners and predictors.

Reuters/news Desk February 25, 2013
(L-R) Actors Daniel Day-Lewis, Jennifer Lawrence, Anne Hathaway and Christoph Waltz pose with their Oscars backstage at the 85th Academy Awards in Hollywood. PHOTOS: REUTERS

Hollywood’s big night often proves a boon to studios that take home Oscars, and this year the haul was spread among several major film companies. Time Warner Inc’s Warner Bros basked in the golden glow of coveted Best Picture Oscar for its Iran hostage drama Argo at the 85th Academy Awards on Sunday, giving the Ben Affleck film a likely boost for its ticket and home entertainment sales.

“There are eight great films that have as much right to be up here as we do,” said Argo producer and director Affleck, who was snubbed in the Best Director category. Taiwanese Ang Lee was a surprise choice for Best Director for Life of Pi. Lee beat front-runner Steven Spielberg in the directing race, in a controversial year that saw four of Hollywood’s leading names omitted from the Academy Award directing shortlist.

Daniel Day-Lewis made Oscar history and won a long standing ovation on becoming the first man to win three Best Actor Oscars. He collected the golden statuette for his intense performance as US President Abraham Lincoln in Lincoln. “I really don’t know how any of this happened,” said Day-Lewis, who has dual Anglo-Irish citizenship.

Oops, I did it again!

Jennifer Lawrence was named Best Actress for playing a feisty young widow in comedy Silver Linings Playbook. Funnily enough, after her dress ripped at the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards, on Sunday night she tripped on her Oscar dress while approaching the stage. She beat Jessica Chastain and France’s Emmanuelle Riva, 86, in one of the closest Oscar contests this year. This is not the first time Lawrence experienced such a faux pas this awards season, with her dress appeared to rip as she climbed the stage at the SAG Awards.

“You guys are just standing up because you feel bad that I fell down,” Lawrence said, as the Dolby Theatre audience rose to its feet after she tripped on her way up the stairs to the stage where she accepted the award. “But thank you,” she added, clutching the statue. “This is nuts.”

Asked backstage what was going through her mind as she stumbled, falling on her hands, Lawrence responded, “A bad word that I can’t say that starts with ‘F’.”

First lady’s surprise appearance

The not-so-unexpected win for Argo was announced in one of the biggest surprises in the history of Oscar telecasts as first lady Michelle Obama made an unprecedented appearance from the White House to declare the film the top winner of the evening.

Clad in a Naeem Khan silver evening gown, Obama said, “This year’s nominated films made us laugh, made us weep and grip our armrests just a little bit tighter. They reminded us we can overcome any obstacles if we dig deep and hard enough.”

And the award goes to...


  • Best picture: Argo

  • Best director: Ang Lee, Life of Pi

  • Best leading actor: Daniel Day-Lewis in Lincoln

  • Best leading actress: Jennifer Lawrence in Silver Linings Playbook

  • Best supporting actor: Christoph Waltz in Django Unchained

  • Best supporting actress: Anne Hathaway in Les Miserables

  • Best foreign language film: Amour (Love)

  • Best cinematography: Life of Pi

  • Best documentary feature: Searching for Sugar Man

  • Best documentary short: Inocente

  • Best short animated film: Paperman

  • Best short live action film: Curfew

  • Best sound editing: Zero Dark Thirty and Skyfall

  • Best sound mixing: Les Miserables

  • Best Original Song: Adele for Skyfall

Published in The Express Tribune, February 26th, 2013.            

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