Oscar recap: ‘Argo’ wins big

Director and producer Ben Affleck accepts the Oscar for best picture for "Argo" at the 85th Academy Awards in HollywoodThe Academy may have robbed him of a Best Director nomination—and likely win—but Ben Affleck had the last laugh on Sunday night when “Argo” took home Best Picture.

There were 24 awards given out at the 85th Annual Academy Awards, and very few of the recipients were surprising choices. As usual, the incoming favorites took home most of the statues.

A quick glance over the few surprises of the night includes Christoph Waltz beating out Tommy Lee Jones in the Best Supporting Actor category—Jones was a slight favorite in a stacked category, “Brave” winning for Best Animated Feature over “Frankenweenie” and “Wreck-It Ralph” and Ang Lee taking the Best Director award instead of Steven Spielberg.

A smaller category became a big deal on Sunday when in only the sixth time in Academy Award history there was a tie—much to the audiences audible disbelief.

“I kid you not,” presenter Mark Wahlberg said after opening the envelope.

The sound editors for Skyfall and Zero Dark Thirty both took home Oscars for the category. The last time such a situation occurred was in the Best Live-Action Short category in 1995 between “Franz Kafka’s It’s A Wonderful Life” and “Trevor.”

Despite entering the night with the most nominations at 15, the anticipated heavy weight “Lincoln” won only two—Best Production Design and Best Actor for Daniel Day-Lewis in the title role. “Lincoln” marked the third time Day-Lewis won Best Actor—an Academy Award first. His other two wins came for “My Left Foot” in 1989 and “There Will Be Blood” in 2007.

“Life of Pi,” which entered with 11 nominations walked away with the most awards of the night at four—including the aforementioned Lee for Best Director, Best Original Score, Best Cinematography and Best Visual Effects.

Best Actress went to Jennifer Lawrence for her role in “Silver Linings Playbook.” It was the films only win despite eight overall nominations, including nominees in all four acting categories, something not done since “Reds” in 1981.

Lawrence was her usual real and down to earth self, in spite of a fall on her way up the stairs to accept her award. She also took a moment in her speech to wish fellow nominee Emmanuelle Riva a happy 86th birthday. At 22 years-old, Lawrence is the second youngest winner of the award.

However, the night was about “Argo,” which won the most prestigious award of the night—Best Picture. Its other awards included Chris Terrio for Best Writing-Adapted Screenplay and William Goldenberg for Best Film Editing.

“I was here 15 years ago or something (Best Writing-Original Screenplay for ‘Good Will Hunting’) and I had no idea what I was doing,” Affleck said during his acceptance speech. “I stood out here in front of you all. Really just a kid and I went out. I never thought I would be back here and I am.”

The clearly emotional director, who said he was afraid he would get played off by the Jaws Theme that played off winners throughout the evening, took the time to thank his wife, Jennifer Garner, as well as “everyone in this movie, who worked on this movie, did anything with this movie.”

Affleck and “Argo” became the default underdogs for the Oscars back in January when the Academy left Affleck out of the Best Director category—the award many expected him to win prior to nomination announcement.

On the hosting side of things, Seth MacFarlane brought his edgy “Family Guy” sensibilities to the awards circuit on Sunday night—a style that fell flat a number of times on the tough to please live audience. The first-time host did his best to remind everyone that he enjoys singing, starting and ending the evening with musical numbers. However, like any host he still managed to ruffle a few feathers with a few jokes. The most common one mentioned on Twitter being his reference to John Wilkes Booth.

MacFarlane may not have reached the goal he set out for himself during his opening monologue (Best Oscars ever, says everyone except Entertainment Weekly), but he got William Shatner to reprise his role as Captain Kirk for the night. That has to be worth something.


Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role: Christoph Waltz, “Django Unchained”

Best Animated Short Film: “Paperman”

Best Animated Feature Film: “Brave”

Achievement in Cinematography: “Life of Pi,” Claudio Miranda

Achievement in Visual Effects: “Life of Pi”

Achievement in Costume Design: “Anna Karenina,” Jacqueline Durran

Achievement in Makeup & Hairstyling: “Les Misérables”

Best Live-Action Short Film: Curfew

Best Documentary Short Subject: “Inocente”

Best Documentary Feature: “Searching for a Sugar Man”

Best Foreign-Language Film: “Amour”

Achievement in Sound Mixing: “Les Misérables”

Achievement in Sound Editing: *TIE* “Zero Dark Thirty” and “Skyfall”

Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role: Anne Hathaway, “Les Misérables”

Achievement in Film Editing: “Argo”

Achievement in Production Direction: “Lincoln”

Original Score: “Life of Pi,” Mychael Danna

Original Song: “Skyfall,” Adele Adkins & Paul Epworth

Adapted Screenplay: “Argo,” Chris Terrio

Original Screenplay: “Django Unchained,” Quentin Tarantino

Achievement in Directing: Ang Lee, “Life of Pi”

Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role: Jennifer Lawrence, “Silver Linings Playbook”

Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role: Daniel Day-Lewis, “Lincoln”

Best Motion Picture: “Argo”