'Argo' wins Oscar for Best Picture



LOS ANGELES -- Daniel Day-Lewis won Best Actor for "Lincoln" and Jennifer Lawrence won for "Silver Linings Playbook."

Ang Lee won for best director for his "Life of Pi."

It's the second Oscar for Lee, who won in 2005 for "Brokeback Mountain." He was also nominated in 2000 for directing "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon." He becomes only the 19th director to win the honor multiple times.

Earlier in the evening, Anne Hathaway took the supporting-actress Oscar win as a doomed mother-turned-prostitute in the musical "Les Miserables."

Christoph Waltz won his second supporting-actor Oscar for a Tarantino film, this time as a genteel bounty hunter in the slave-revenge saga "Django Unchained."

"It came true," said Hathaway, who joins 2002 supporting-actress winner Catherine Zeta-Jones for "Chicago" and 2006 recipient Jennifer Hudson for "Dreamgirls." Hathaway had warm thanks for "Les Miz" co-star Hugh Jackman, with whom she once sang a duet at the Oscars when he was the show's host.

Hathaway's Oscar came for her role as noble but fallen Fantine in the big-screen adaptation of the Broadway smash that was based on Victor Hugo's epic novel of revolution, romance and redemption in 19th century France.

In a choked voice, Waltz offered thanks to his character and "to his creator and the creator of his awe-inspiring world, Quentin Tarantino."

Waltz also offered gracious thanks to his supporting-actor competitors, who included two-time Oscar winner Robert De Niro and Oscar recipient Tommy Lee Jones, who had been considered a slim favorite over Waltz for the prize.

A veteran performer in Germany and his native Austria, Waltz had been a virtual unknown in Hollywood when Tarantino cast him as a gleefully evil Nazi in 2009's "Inglourious Basterds," which won him his first Oscar.

Waltz has since done a handful of other Hollywood movies, but it's Tarantino who has given him his two choicest roles. Backstage, Waltz had a simple explanation for why the collaboration works.

"Quentin writes poetry, and I like poetry," Waltz said.

The foreign-language prize went to Austrian filmmaker Michael Haneke's old-age love story "Amour," which had been a major surprise with five nominations, including picture, director and original screenplay for Haneke and best actress for Emmanuelle Riva, who turned 86 on Sunday and would be the oldest acting winner ever.

The top prize winner at last year's Cannes Film Festival, "Amour" follows the agonizing story of an elderly man (Jean-Louis Trintignant) tending his wife (Riva) as she declines from age and illness.

Haneke thanked his own wife for supporting him in his work for 30 years.

"You are the center of my life," Haneke said.

The Scottish adventure "Brave," from Disney's Pixar Animation unit, was named best animated feature. Pixar films have won seven of the 12 Oscars since the category was added.

The story of an dauntless princess (voiced by Kelly Macdonald) who balks at her parents' attempts to marry her off, "Brave" won out over a strong field that included Disney's "Wreck-It Ralph" and "Frankenweenie."

"I just happen to be wearing the kilt," said "Brave" co-director Mark Andrews, who took the stage in his trademark Scottish garment.

The upbeat musical portrait "Searching for Sugar Man" took the documentary feature prize over a lineup of sober films that included the AIDS chronicle "How to Survive a Plague," the military-rape critique "The Invisible War" and the Israel-Palestine studies "5 Broken Cameras" and "The Gatekeepers."

"Searching for Sugar Man" follows the quest of two South African fans to discover the fate of acclaimed but obscure singer-songwriter Sixto Rodriguez, who dropped out of sight after two albums in the 1970s and was rumored to have died a bitter death.

"Thanks to one of the greatest singers ever, Rodriguez," said "Sugar Man" director Malik Bendjelloul.

There was a rare tie in one category, with the Osama bin Laden thriller "Zero Dark Thirty" and the James Bond tale "Skyfall" each winning for sound editing.

Oscar host Seth MacFarlane opened with a mildly edgy monologue that offered the usual polite jabs at the academy, the stars and the industry.

William Shatner made a guest appearance as his "Star Trek" character Capt. James Kirk, appearing on a giant screen above the stage during MacFarlane's monologue, saying he came back in time to stop the host from ruining the Oscars.

"Your jokes are tasteless and inappropriate, and everyone ends up hating you," said Shatner, who revealed a headline supposedly from the next day's newspaper that read, "Seth MacFarlane worst Oscar host ever."

Halle Berry introduced a tribute to the James Bond franchise in which she has co-starred as the British super-spy celebrated his 50th anniversary on the big-screen last year with the latest adventure "Skyfall." Shirley Bassey sang her theme song to the 1960s Bond tale "Goldfinger."

A salute to the resurgence of movie musicals in the last decade included Oscar winners Zeta-Jones singing "All That Jazz" from "Chicago" and Hudson doing "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going" from "Dreamgirls." Jackman and Hathaway joined cast mates of best-picture contender "Les Miserables" to sing songs from their musical.

Fans have pondered how far MacFarlane the impudent creator of "Family Guy," might push the normally prim and proper Oscars. Two hours into the show, the answer was, not that far. MacFarlane was generally polite and respectful, showcasing his charm, wit and vocal gifts.

MacFarlane did press his luck a bit on an Abraham Lincoln joke, noting that Raymond Massey preceded "Lincoln" star Daniel Day-Lewis as an Oscar nominee for 1940's "Abe Lincoln in Illinois."

"I would argue that the actor who really got inside Lincoln's head was John Wilkes Booth," MacFarlane wisecracked, earning some groans from the crowd. "A hundred and 50 years later, and it's still too soon?"

moviesvideo

AP writers Sandy Cohen, Beth Harris and Anthony McCartney contributed to this report. First Published February 25, 2013 2:00 AM


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