‘Argo’ is top winner at the Oscars, winning three including Best Picture

As predicted, “Argo” won top honors at the Academy Awards, winning three of its seven nominations: Best Picture, Best Adapted Sreenplay, and Best Editing. Though Ben Affleck was snubbed in the Best Director race, he nevertheless took home a trophy as one of the film’s producers, making him an undefeated two-time winner at the Oscars; he previously won Best Original Screenplay for “Good Will Hunting” in 1997. (For the complete list of winners, click here.)

George Clooney, also a producer on the film, picks up a second Oscar as well, to add to his Best Supporting Actor trophy for “Syriana” (2005). To date, he has earned eight nominations across a record six categories for writing, directing, producing, and acting. (See more facts and figures here.) His frequent producing partner, Grant Heslov, wins his first award in four nominations. 

Not to be outdone, “Life of Pi” claimed four awards out of its 11 bids: Best Director (Ang Lee), Best Cinematography, Best Score, and Best Visual Effects. Despite losing the top prize, it was the most honored film of the night.

Les Miserables” took three of its nine races: Best Supporting Actress (Anne Hathaway), Best Makeup/Hairstyling, and Best Sound Mixing.

Steven Spielberg‘s historical epic “Lincoln,” which led all films with 12 nominations and was the frontrunner earlier in the season, had to settle for just two wins: Best Actor (Daniel Day-Lewis) and Best Production Design. Day-Lewis makes history by becoming the first man in Oscar history to win three lead-acting awards; he previously won Best Actor for “My Left Foot” (1989) and “There Will Be Blood” (2007). He is also breaks the curse on acting nominees from Spielberg pictures.

Django Unchained” also won two of its nominations: Best Supporting Actor for Christoph Waltz and Best Original Screenplay for Quentin Tarantino, the second win for both in their respective categories. Waltz previously won for Tarantino’s “Inglourious Basterds” (2009), while the writer/director won for “Pulp Fiction” (1994).

Skyfall” also took home a pair of Oscars: Best Song for its self-titled theme, co-written by Adele, and Best Sound Editing in a tie with “Zero Dark Thirty.” This was only the sixth tie in Oscars history. The most recent of these was in 1994 for Live Action Short (“Franz Kafka’s It’s A Wonderful Life” and “Trevor”). Also on the Oscarcast: Barbra Streisand (“Funny Girl”), who tied Katharine Hepburn (“The Lion in Winter”) for Best Actress in 1968, performed “The Way We Were” in tribute to the late Marvin Hamlisch.

Silver Linings Playbook” didn’t go away empty-handed. It won one of its eight nominations: Best Actress for Jennifer Lawrence.

Brave” won a close race for Best Animated Feature against “Frankenweenie” and frontrunner “Wreck-It Ralph.” It is Pixar’s seventh winner in this category, and the company’s fifth winner in the last six years.

As expected, “Searching for Sugar Man” won Best Documentary Feature, and “Amour” was named Best Foreign Language Film.

The three Oscars presented to short films went  to “Curfew” (Live Action), “Paperman” (Animated), and “Inocente” (Documentary).

7 thoughts on “‘Argo’ is top winner at the Oscars, winning three including Best Picture

  1. The headline needs correcting. “(T)op winner” implies Argo won the most awards as well as Best Picture; but Life of Pi won the most.

    And yes, I stuck with Lincoln to the bitter end; now Spielberg will have to demand the Oscar that The Color Purple lost to Out of Africa. The oddest thing, though? I did get the Blu-ray of Argo; if I was right it would have been a legendary snub (and I got the last exclusive copy from my Target store).

  2. I am annoyed with myself. I could have had 92% and only missed two. I had Inocente picked for weeks and then just hours before the Oscars second guessed myself and went with Open Heart. So close! What a great ceremony though. Some long shots won, and Seth Macfarlane was fabulous.

  3. I just hated that “Before my time” and “Pi’s Lullaby” were not performed during the ceremony. That’s disrespecful to the nominees. Adele should have performed after the 007 tribute instead of Shirley Bassey, and Hugh Jackman could have performed a complete version of his song. That’s the only UGLY I see in this year’s ceremony

  4. El, Adele performed the song she should have. Shirley Bassey was an appropo choice for the tribute. I do agree that ALL the original song nominees should have been performed or none at all.

    And with all the crap that was crammed into this show, there was no need to play people off. That was tacky.

  5. Chirstoph Waltz won his second supporting-actor Oscar under the direction of Quentin Tarantino: “Inglourious Basterds” (2009) and “Django Unchained” (2012). This happened with Dianne Wiest and her two supporting-actress Oscars under the direction of Woody Allen: “Hannah and Her Sisters” (1986) and “Bullets Over Broadway” (1994). My question: Is there anyone else, with more than one acting Oscar, who also struck gold winning under the direction of the same person?

  6. Like other commentators, I thought yesterday’s Oscar program was brilliantly executed, with amazing production numbers. It was quite evident that the producers were accomplished in the area of musical theatre, so that the entire event had the feel of a Broadway show. The pace was enlivened, and its length was much more easily borne, as were even some off-color remarks by the host, who nevertheless proved himself to be supremely gifted as an entertainer.

    However, the whole was terribly marred by the appearance of the First Lady streamed live from the White House as the presenter of the Best Picture. I kept asking myself, what is the relevance?

    When former President Clinton in person presented a film clip at the Golden Globes, which was a complete surprise to nearly everyone, still, regardless of one’s politics, the relevance was clearly there. In that case, a former United States President who dealt with and triumphed over a contentious Congress was presenting a film clip about a former United States President who dealt with and triumphed over a contentious Congress. Thus, any living American President who could speak first hand of this in such a place would have been very relevant.

    But what does First Lady Michelle Obama have to do with presenting this year’s Best Picture of the Year? The films being considered did not all have political themes, and none of them excepting “Lincoln” had anything to do with First Ladies at all. Therefore, aside from wanting to appear before the world yet again in the role of a fashion statement, why was she being asked to present this year’s Best Picture?

    Of course it then dawned upon me. The decision to have the First Lady streamed live from the White House had nothing whatever to do with motion pictures at all. It had everything to do with some Academy members trying to “best” director Stephen Spielberg. After all, if Mr. Spielberg, one of our nation’s greatest film artists with several classics to his credit, could call upon the favor of former President Bill Clinton to present a film clip about former President Abe Lincoln, what could the anti-Spielberg contingent of the Motion Picture Academy do to “one-up” his political influence? The result was to have First Lady Michelle Obama present this year’s Best Picture as a live-stream from The White House.

    But while the First Lady looked lovely, rather than eliciting the surprised standing ovation that greeted former President Bill Clinton’s live appearance at the Golden Globes, instead, most of the in-house audience at the Oscar ceremony, and those watching all over the world, seemed confused. Even the most passionate of Obama supporters had to wonder what the First Lady has to do specifically with American film that would make her on-camera appearance there, much less as the presenter of the year’s Best Picture, relevant at all.

    As a result, the appearance marred an otherwise innovative program, marked by superb production numbers.

    It would appear now that in the zeal of some Academy members to “one-up” Stephen Spielberg, further “sticking it” to him, they have, in the end, “stuck it” to themselves. Spielberg’s own Hollywood “team of rivals” now just look petty and silly before all the world.

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