The Ben Affleck-directed drama about rescuing hostages in Tehran during the Iranian revolution had been largely expected to win, even as there was controversy about the seeming snub for Affleck in the director category.
“I never thought I would be back here,” Affleck said. He won an Oscar 15 years ago with Matt Damon for original screenplay for “Good Will Hunting,” but since then his career took several hits. His star began to rise again as he turned to directing. Affleck told the audience that the only thing that matters is not that you fell down but that you got back up.
“Argo” won three Oscars. It also won for adapted screenplay for Chris Terrio and film editing for William Goldenberg. It’s only the fourth time that a film has won the best picture Oscar without its director being nominated.
On the acting side, it was Daniel Day-Lewis by a landslide for “Lincoln.”
In a win that surprised no one, Day-Lewis took the lead actor for playing the nation’s 16th president in Steven Spielberg’s epic.
Aside from this win, the film was largely overlooked at the 85th Academy Awards. It went into the evening with a dozen nominations — the most of any film. But it’s only won two, including production design.
Jennifer Lawrence continued her golden girl run, taking the lead actress Oscar for her performance as a neurotic widow in the romantic comedy “Silver Linings Playbook.”
“This is nuts!” the 22-year-old said after the tripping on her way up to stairs to the stage at the Dolby Theatre. As if to help her on her way, many in the audience took to their feet to cheer her on.
The win capped a stunning run through the awards season, during which she won nearly every award out there — the Golden Globe, the Screen Actors Guild Award, and more.
Meanwhile, “Life of Pi” continues to defy expectations. The fable-adventure about a young man and a tiger sharing a life raft after a ship wreck has earned nearly $600 million worldwide.
And now it has four Oscars to show for the leap of faith it took to bring the bestselling book to the big screen, including director for Ang Lee.
“Thank you, movie god,” the Taiwanese filmmaker said as he collected his trophy and bowed before the standing, cheering audience. “Thank you for taking the leap with me,” he said to the executives at Fox who backed the costly, CGI-driven film.
Lee’s film headed into the awards with 11 nominations, including best picture and director. It’s won score for Mychael Danna, cinematography for Claudio Miranda and for its stunning visual effects.
“Pi” marks his second Academy Award win as director. He took home the same honor seven years ago for “Brokeback Mountain.”
Quentin Tarantino won the Oscar for original screenplay for the controversial slave revenge western “Django Unchained.”