Argo wins Best Picture, Life of Pi takes Best Director at 85th Academy Awards

Ben Affleck’s Argo defied decades of Oscar history to win Best Picture at the 85th Academy Awards, despite its helmer not being nominated for Best Director.


In a teary speech, Affleck made note of his miraculous Hollywood comeback after years left out in the cold. Tonight, he’s the toast of the town.

Argo scored two other prizes at the Seth MacFarlane hosted ceremony: Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Film Editing.

Best Director went to Ang Lee for Life of Pi; perhaps an extension of one of the Academy’s cruelest running jokes.

Lee previously won Best Director for Brokeback Mountain in 2005, ultimately losing the top prize to Crash.

Life of Pi claimed the most awards of the evening, walking away with Best Visual Effects, Best Score, and Best Cinematography to boot.

Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln only secured two awards from a pack-leading 12 noms, though one was a biggie: Best Actor.

With that victory, Daniel Day-Lewis became the first man to win three Oscars in the leading actor category.

Jennifer Lawrence was named Best Actress for her work in Silver Linings Playbook, beating out Zero Dark Thirty‘s Jessica Chastain.

Two other Actress nominees – nine-year-old Quvenzhane Wallis and 86-year-old Emmanuelle Riva – provided much fodder for MacFarlane, who was otherwise concerned mostly with singing show tunes and speaking with a Skyped-in Captain Kirk (don’t ask).

Michael Haneke’s Amour did not prove victorious in four of its categories, but was unimpeachable in the Best Foreign Language Film race.

Quentin Tarantino nabbed his second ever Oscar for Django Unchained‘s original screenplay, while star Christoph Waltz earned Best Supporting Actor in a category comprised entirely of former victors.

Anne Hathaway – in the least surprising moment of the night, if not all of human history – picked up Best Supporting Actress for Les Miserables. Tom Hooper’s musical also won for Best Makeup and Hairstyling, as well as Sound Mixing.

There was a shocker when Mark Wahlberg and a CGI Ted (voiced by MacFarlane) announced a tie in Sound Editing. That both of the gents who won – from Zero Dark Thirty and Skyfall – had nearly identical, flowing, Thor-like blonde locks only added to our astonishment.

The ceremony celebrated 50 Years of James Bond, culminating in a performance of Adele’s title track from Skyfall. It later took out Best Song, and was followed by a charming, cockney speech from the songstress.

The inspirational Searching for Sugar Man walked away with Best Documentary Feature, while Inocente became the first ever Kickstarter-funded flick to win an Oscar (Best Documentary, Short Subject).

Pixar’s Brave snapped up Best Animated Feature (presumably by voters who went with the studio by habit), and Disney’s Paperman collected Best Animated Short Film.

See the full list of winners, and our live-blog, here.

2 Responses to “Argo wins Best Picture, Life of Pi takes Best Director at 85th Academy Awards”

  1. I believe you meant Lee previously won Best Director for Brokeback Mountain, not Best Picture.

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