‘Argo’ wins Oscar’s big prize
Loath to miss a love-in, in Sunday’s 85th Oscars the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences followed the lead of nearly every other awards show this season, and gave the best picture trophy to the CIA/Canadian Caper movie Argo.
The award was even presented via live feed by First Lady Michelle Obama.
But that’s pretty much where the love stopped. Ben Affleck’s film won only film editing and best adapted screenplay for Chris Terrio. Affleck himself wasn’t even nominated for best director.
The rest of the major awards were a mixed bag of everyone who caught the Academy’s eye. Daniel Day-Lewis won best actor for Lincoln, Jennifer Lawrence best actress for Silver Linings Playbook, Anne Hathaway (Les Miserables) and Christoph Waltz (Django Unchained) got the supporting awards, Life Of Pi director Ang Lee won best director and Django director Quentin Tarantino won an original script award.
Affleck has taken heat from up North over short-shrifting Canadian ambassador Ken Taylor in his re-telling of the 1980 Iran hostage smuggling tale. In his acceptance speech as producer, he rushed the words, “I want to thank Canada” out of his mouth.
Interestingly, Canadians seemed to get more props from Life of Pi (based on a Canuck novel by Yann Martel). Toronto composer Mychael Danna won for best original score, and a visual effects Oscar was given to a team that included Vancouver-based FX artist Guillaume Rocheron (the movie also won a cinematography award). In his speech, Lee thanked, “my Taiwan (film) team, my Indian team and my Canadian team, I love you.”
Day-Lewis broke a “Spielberg curse” that has seen the director’s actors shut out of awards over the years. He thanked, “the mysteriously beautiful mind, body and spirit of Abraham Lincoln.”
There was one shock and one “awww,” as the Oscars for supporting actor and actress were handed out.
No one was surprised when Anne Hathaway won best actress at the 85th Oscars for the role of Fantine in the musical Les Miserables.
“It came true!” said the actress who’d performed the song, I Dreamed A Dream in a segment earlier in the evening. She dedicated the award to a future when poverty-stricken single mothers like Fantine “will only be found in stories and never more in real life.”
But – opposite favourites Robert De Niro and Tommy Lee Jones – it was a definite surprise when Christoph Waltz won best supporting actor for his role as a German bounty hunter in Quentin Tarantino’s slave-era action film Django Unchained.
He had previously won a supporting nod for his portrayal of a Nazi officer in Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds.
In his acceptance speech, Waltz spoke to Tarantino directly, paraphrasing his character. “You scale the mountain because you’re not afraid of it, you slay the dragon because you’re not afraid of it, and you cross through fire because it’s worth it.”
Les Miserables also took two technical awards in the early going, for makeup & hairstyling and sound mixing, while Anna Karenina won for costume design. The abuse-themed short film Curfew won for live action short, while Innocente, about a homeless artistic teen, won documentary short.
As expected, Michael Haneke’s Amour (which was also nominated for best picture) won best foreign-language film, while the acclaimed Searching For Sugar Man, the surprising documentary about a presumed-dead musical legend, took the feature doc Oscar.
In other awards, Pixar’s Brave – a female-centric heroic fairy tale set in the Scottish highlands – won best animated feature, while Disney’s theatrically released short Paperman won best short animated film.
In sound editing, there was a rare tie between Zero Dark Thirty and the James Bond film Skyfall, while Argo took the award for film editing and Lincoln was honoured for production design. Skyfall’s Adele and Paul Epworth – also took the best song Oscar for the movie’s theme.
Best Motion Picture of the Year
Winner: Argo (2012) – Grant Heslov, Ben Affleck, George Clooney
Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role
Winner: Daniel Day-Lewis for Lincoln (2012)
Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role
Winner: Jennifer Lawrence for Silver Linings Playbook (2012)
Best Achievement in Directing
Winner: Ang Lee for Life of Pi (2012)
Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen
Winner: Django Unchained (2012) – Quentin Tarantino
Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published
Winner: Argo (2012) – Chris Terrio
Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Song
Winner: Skyfall (2012) – Adele, Paul Epworth(“Skyfall”)
Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Score
Winner: Life of Pi (2012) – Mychael Danna
Best Achievement in Production Design
Winner: Lincoln (2012) – Rick Carter, Jim Erickson
Best Achievement in Editing
Winner: Argo (2012) – William Goldenberg
Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role
Winner: Anne Hathaway for Les Misérables (2012)
Best Achievement in Sound Editing
Winner: Skyfall (2012) – Per Hallberg, Karen M. Baker and Zero Dark Thirty (2012) – Paul N.J. Ottosson
Best Achievement in Sound Mixing
Winner: Les Misérables (2012) – Andy Nelson, Mark Paterson, Simon Hayes
Best Foreign Language Film of the Year
Winner: Amour (2012)(Austria)
Best Documentary, Feature
Winner: Searching for Sugar Man (2012) – Malik Bendjelloul, Simon Chinn
Best Documentary, Short Subject
Winner: Inocente (2012) – Sean Fine, Andrea Nix
Best Short Film, Live Action
Winner: Curfew (2012/I) – Shawn Christensen
Best Achievement in Makeup and Hairstyling
Winner: Les Misérables (2012) – Lisa Westcott, Julie Dartnell
Best Achievement in Costume Design
Winner: Anna Karenina (2012/I) – Jacqueline Durran
Best Achievement in Visual Effects
Winner: Life of Pi (2012) – Bill Westenhofer, Guillaume Rocheron, Erik De Boer, Donald Elliott
Best Achievement in Cinematography
Winner: Life of Pi (2012) – Claudio Miranda
Best Animated Feature Film of the Year
Winner: Brave (2012) – Mark Andrews, Brenda Chapman
Best Short Film, Animated
Winner: Paperman (2012) – John Kahrs
Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role
Winner: Christoph Waltz for Django Unchained (2012)