News Column

Oscars 2013: Michelle Obama Announces Best Picture

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The much-talked-about surprise at Sunday's Academy Awards show, hosted by Seth MacFarlane, was First Lady Michelle Obama, via cameras from Washington D.C., announcing that "Argo" won the Best Picture Oscar. Daniel Day Lewis' performance as "Lincoln" earned him the best actor award. Jennifer Lawrence took home the Academy Award for best actress. Ang Lee won best director. Quentin Tarantino got the best original screenplay Oscar. Anne Hathaway won supporting actress for "Les Miserables" and Christoph Waltz got supporting actor for "Django Unchained." Only care about red-carpet fashion commentary? Skip to the end for highlights.

"Life of Pi" won visual effects and cinematography awards. Period pieces got recognition with "Les Miserables" winning for makeup and hairstyling and "Anna Karenina" for costume design. "Brave" won the animated film category. Another surprise of the evening was the tie in sound editing. There have only been two previous ties in Oscar history. In 1932, the best actor went to Wallace Beery for "The Champ" and Frederic March for "Dr. Jeckell and Mr. Hyde." In 1968, the best actress Oscars went to Katherine Hepburn for "A Lion in Winter" and Barbara Streisand for "Funny Girl".

MacFarlane kicked off the Oscars with a goal. "The quest to make Tommy Lee Jones laugh starts now," he said. Cameras showed him smiling. Mission accomplished! The show celebrated music in film. An intro with the flying nun, sock puppets flying planes and Captain Kirk giving advice was a funny start to the show. The night's big musical number featured tunes and dancing from "Chicago," "Dreamgirls" and "Les Miserables." Overall impression: Entertaining and enjoyable but too long. Some of the best stuff -- Michelle Obama's video appearance and the MacFarlane/Kristin Chenoweth "loser" dance -- may have happened after most folks were in bed.

Here's a recap:

WINNERS

First Lady Michelle Obama, via camera from Washington DC, helps Jack Nicholson announce the Oscar for BEST PICTURE: Argo "I know what you're thinking... Three sexist producers alive," says Grant Heslov about himself, Ben Affleck and George Clooney. "It's hard but you can't hold grudges," Ben Affleck says. "It doesn't matter how you get knocked down in life because that's going to happen. All that matters is that you gotta get back up," he says. He calls out his kids and says the Oscar is for them. The first lady says movies are important because they "lift our spirits." Nominees: "Silver Linings Playbook," "Lincoln," "Les Miserables," "DJango Unchained," "Argo," "Zero Dark Thirty" "Beasts of the Southern Wild" "Life of Pi" and "Amour."

Fun fact: "Lincoln" received the most Oscar noms with 12, "Life of Pi" got 11 and "Les Miserables" and "Silver Linings Playbook" earned 8 each.

BEST ACTOR Daniel Day Lewis for "Lincoln." He's won three best actor Oscars. "I really don't know how any of this happened," he says. He joked that he'd been committed to play Margaret Thatcher and that Meryl Streep, who presented his award, was the first choice for Lincoln but they decided to swap. He joked that he had to convince Steven Spielberg not to make "Lincoln" a musical. He also joked that his wife had to sleep with a lot of different characters over the years. Nominees: Daniel Day Lewis for "Lincoln," Denzel Washington for "Flight," Hugh Jackman for "Les Miserables," Bradley Cooper for "Silver Livings Playbook" and Joaquin Phoenix for "The Master."

BEST ACTRESS: Jennifer Lawrence for "Silver Linings Playbook." "Thank you so much... thanks," she says. She tripped on the stairs. But recovered well. "That's so embarrassing." Nominees: Naomi Watts for "The Impossible," Jessica Chastain for "Zero Dark Thirty," Jennifer Lawrence for "Silver Linings Playbook," Emmanuelle Riva for "Amour" and Quvenzhane Wallis for "The Beasts of the Southern Wild." Fun fact: Emmanuelle Riva, at age 85, is the oldest Oscar nominee in Oscar history. Quvenzhane Wallis, at age 9, is the youngest nominee.

BEST DIRECTOR: Ang Lee for "Life of Pi." "Thank you movie god," he says. He went on to thank his agents, his family, his cast, his various crews... You get it. Nominees: David O Russel for "Silver Linings Playbook," Ang Lee for "Life of Pi," Steven Spielberg for "Lincoln," Michael Haneke for "Amour" and Ben H Zeitlin for "Beasts of the Southern Wild."

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY: "Django Unchained" Quentin Tarantino thanks the actors and actresses for making his characters come to life, and says he only has one chance to make sure future audiences remember his writing by casting the right people. "Boy this time, did I do it, thank you guys," he says. "This will be writers year, man!" he says. Nominees: John Gatins for "Flight," Mark Boal for "Zero Dark Thirty," Quentin Tarantino for "DJango Unchained," Michael Haneke for "Amour" and Wes Anderson and Roman Coppola for "Moonrise Kingdom."

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY: "Argo." Chris Terrio dedicates the award to the people like Tony Mendez, who use their creativity to rescue people trapped, due to politics, in unsafe areas. Nominees: Lucy Alibar and BenH Zeitlin for "Beasts of the Southern Wild," Chris Terrio for "Argo," Tony Kushner for "Lincoln," David O'Russell for "Silver Linings Playbook," David Magee for "Life of Pi."

BEST ORIGINAL SONG: Skyfall from "Skyfall." Nominees: Before my Time from "Chasing Ice," Pi's Lullaby from "Life of Pi," Suddenly from "Les Miserables," Everybody Needs a Best Friend from "Ted:" Skyfall from "Skyfall."

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE: "Life of Pi." Nominees: "Anna Karenina," "Argo," "Life of Pi," Lincoln" and "Skyfall."

PRODUCTION DESIGN: "Lincoln" Rick Carter (Production Design); Jim Erickson (Set Decoration). He said the crew tried to worthy of the legacy of the great president. Nominees: "Anna Karenina," Sarah Greenwood (Production Design) and Katie Spencer (Set Decoration); "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey," Dan Hennah (Production Design) and Ra Vincent and Simon Bright (Set Decoration); "Les Miserables" Eve Stewart (Production Design) and Anna Lynch-Robinson (Set Decoration); "Life of Pi:" David Gropman (Production Design) and Anna Pinnock (Set Decoration); and "Lincoln" Rick Carter (Production Design); Jim Erickson (Set Decoration).

FILM EDITING: "Argo." Nominees: "Argo," "Life of Pi," "Lincoln," "Silver Linings Playbook" and "Zero Dark Thirty."

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Anne Hathaway for "Les Miserables." "I must thank Hugh Jackman. The cast, the crew... I want to thank my friends... my family." She said the best moment of her life was when she met her husband. "Here's hoping that some day, in the not too distant future, the misfortunes of Fantine will only be found in stories and not in real life." Fantine is a character in Victor Hugo's 1862 novel "Les Miserables." The young Parisian becomes pregnant and is abandoned by the baby's dad, a rich student. To provide money for her daughter Cosette, she is forced to become a prostitute. Nominees: Sally Field for "Lincoln," Anne Hathaway for "Les Miserables," Jacki Weaver: for "Silver Linings Playbook," Helen Hunt for "The Sessions" and Amy Adams for "The Master."

SOUND EDITINGA tie between "Zero Dark Thirty" and "Skyfall." Nominees: "Argo," "Django Unchained," "Life of Pi," "Skyfall" and "Zero Dark Thirty."

SOUND MIXING "Les Miserables." Nominees: "Argo," "Les Miserables," "Life of Pi," "Lincoln" and "Skyfall"

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM: "Amour" Nominees: "Amour" from France/Austria, "No" from Chile, "War Witch" from Canada, "A Royal Affair" from Denmark, "Kon Tiki"from Norway.

DOCUMENTARY FEATURE: "Searching for Sugar Man." "Thanks to one of the greatest singers ever, Rodriguez." Rodriquez is not present but we're sure that bars in Detroit are celebrating. Nominees: "5 Broken Cameras" from Emad Burnat and Guy Davidi, "The Gatekeepers" from Dror Moreh, Philippa Kowarsky and Estelle Fialon, "How to Survive a Plague" from David France and Howard Gertler, "The Invisible War" from Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering and "Searching for Sugar Man" from Malik Bendjelloul and Simon Chinn.

DOCUMENTARY SHORT: "Inocente" Nominees: "Inocente" by Sean Fine and Andrea Nix Fine, "Kings Point" by Sari Gilman and Jedd Wider, "Mondays at Racine" by Cynthia Wade and Robin Honan, "Open Heart" by Kief Davidson and Cori Shepherd Stern and "Redemption" by Jon Alpert and Matthew O'Neill

SHORT FILM LIVE ACTION: "Curfew" Nominees: "Asad" by Bryan Buckley and Mino Jarjoura, "Buzkashi Boys" by Sam French and Ariel Nasr, "Curfew" by Shawn Christensen, "Death of a Shadow" by Dood van een Schaduw, Tom Van Avermaet and Ellen De Waele; "Henry" by Yan England

MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING: "Les Miserables." by Lisa Westcott and Julie Dartnell. Nominees: "Hitchcock" by Howard Berger, Peter Montagna and Martin Samuel, "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" by Peter Swords King, Rick Findlater and Tami Lane and "Les Miserables" by Lisa Westcott and Julie Dartnell.

COSTUME DESIGN: "Anna Karenina." Nominees: "Anna Karenina," "Les Miserables," "Lincoln," "Mirror Mirror" and "Snow White and the Huntsman."

VISUAL EFFECTS "Life of Pi." The poor guy talked for too long and had too many thank-yous. The music got louder and louder and then his mic was cut. Nominees: "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey," "Life of Pi," "Marvel's The Avengers," "Prometheus," "Snow White and the Huntsman."

CINEMATOGRAPHY: "Life of Pi." "Oh my gosh I can't even speak," says Claudio Miranda. Nominees:"Anna Karenina," "Django Unchained," "Life of Pi," "Lincoln" and "Skyfall"

BEST ANIMATED FILM: "Brave." Mark Andrews and Brenda Chapman. Brenda thanks her daughter: "I'd like to give a shout out to my wonderful, brave daughter Emma who inspired 'Brave.'" Nominees: "Frankenweenie," "The Pirates Band of Misfits," "Wreck it Ralph:" "Paranorman" "Brave."

ANIMATED SHORT FILM: "Paperman." John Kahrs thanks the Academy for getting copies of the short films to all the Academy members this year. Nominees: "Adam and Dog" by Minkyu Lee, "Fresh Guacamole" by PES, "Head over Heels" by Timothy Reckart and Fodhla Cronin O'Reilly, "Maggie Simpson" David Silverman and "Paperman" by John Kahrs.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: Christoph Waltz for "Django Unchained. He thanked the members of the cast and then director/writer Quentin Tarantino: "You scale the mountain because you are not afraid of it. You slay the dragon because you are not afraid of it. You cross through fire because it's worth it... I borrowed my characters words." Nominees: Christoph Waltz for "Django Unchained," Phillip Seymor Hoffman for "The Master," Robert De Niro "Silver Linings Playbook," Alan Arkin for "Argo" and Tommy Lee Jones for "Lincoln." Fun fact: All the Supporting Actor nominees are previous Oscar winners.

Fashion from the red carpet:

Kristin Chenoweth, I love you (air kiss) but we really need to have Ryan Seacrest and the E! team do the red carpet stuff. Not digging this weird mystery game and gushing over every star. Let's bring back the fashion talk, please!

Not a huge fan of that beard on George Clooney. Yes, I'm talking about facial hair! Halle Barry is in a Versace black and gold gown with a deep V-neck and sheer long sleeves. Jennifer Aniston wears a strapless Valentino red gown with a full skirt. Her hair is loose and natural looking, which probably means it takes hours to do, of course. The dress is pretty but sort of plain. Ack, can't believe I said that about Valentino.

Sandra Bullock's sleek, sheer-with-lace dress with a super capped sleeve is lovely. I don't love the super-straight hair, though. Jane Fonda, at age 75, shines in her bright yellow Versace long-sleeved dress with a triangle cutout in the back. Her stylist says portion control and exercise are the key to her fit body. Cutest couple is absolutely Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner. She's wearing a Gucci plum/wine colored strapless gown with puffy accents along the spine and a train. It's accompanied by an amazing diamond necklace. Nicole Kidman bucks the strapless trend and wears a dress with straps that's black with gold sequins. It's fitted and lovely for a presenter. Actress Zoe Saldana looks gorgeous in a strapless Alexis Mabille Couture dress and Neil Lane jewels. Charlize Theron wears a Dior Couture two-piece looking white gown. It's strapless with a slight v-neck. Her buzzed blonde hair still looks amazing. Naomi Watts wears a blue/silver Armani Prive gown with a capped shoulder on one side and a bare shoulder on the other. Very bold choice. I love it.

Anne Hathaway wears a white Prada gown with a high neckline and tiny straps. Her short hair looks cute. She says she chose the dress just three hours ago. Overall, I think too simple for the Oscars! Helen Hunt wears an H&M sleek, strapless blue gown and a fabulous diamond necklace. Jennifer Lawrence wears a strapless white Dior Couture gown that's sort of mermaid style but has a puffy bridal-like bottom. Her hair is up and she has diamond drop earrings. (Maybe she just arrived from the Ultimate Bridal Expo?)

Sally Field wears a red gown with sheer red sleeves. I love it. Amanda Seyfried wears an Alexander McQueen gown with a halter top and keyhole. Her hair is in an updo. Presenter Kerry Washington wears a strapless Miu Miu gown in a coral/orange/red color with a sparkly bodice. Jacki Weaver looks beautiful in her red gown with a lace bodice and shoulders. She wears $2 million worth of diamonds from Stephen Webster.

Amy Adams, nominated for supporting actress for "The Master," wears a strapless Oscar de le Renta gown in light blue with a feathery bottom. Performer Samantha Barks gets my vote for most-likely to have a wardrobe malfunction in her black gown with a seriously deep V. Apparently, the Oscars didn't have the same memo that the Grammys released. Channing Tatum refers to his about-to-be-born child, with wife Jenna Dewan-Tatum, as his "greatest production yet." Aw, too sweet. Jenna showed off her baby bump in a cute, fitted, black, lace dress.

Quvenzhane Wallis, the 9-year-old nominee for "Beasts of the Southern Wild," was just as cute and funny as we'd hoped. How's her experience been so far? "It has been crazy," she said. The craziest part? "All of it." Can she believe that she's competing against these talented women? "No because they're older and they're more sophisticated." She chose her dress because it was sparkly and fluffy. Her puppy purse looks like her puppy at home.

Reese Witherspoon wears a strapless Louis Vuitton gown in blue with black ribbon accents. Her hair is long with big, structured curls. She credits the volume of her hair to having just had a baby.

Jessica Chastain, nominated for best actress for "Zero Dark Thirty," wears a strapless, form fitting, bedazzled flesh colored dress by Armani Prive. She's glamorous with her bright red lips and her strawberry blonde hair worn long and sleek with some curls at the ends. She brings her grandma to the Oscars again. Adorable! Jessica's Harry Winston 1960s bracelet fits her Old Hollywood glam look perfectly. It's on loan, she confesses.

Seth MacFarlane's dad, Ron, and sister, Rachel, tell Ryan that the Oscar host has been working for five months on his opening act. "It's gonna be tremendous," Rachel says. Viewers get a glimpse of Olympian Ryan Lochte's upcoming E! show, "What would Ryan Lochte Do." It can't be defined, apparently. Hmmm. Won't be too upset if I forget to DVR that one.

Some highlights from E!'s before-the-red-carpet show:

E!'s Ryan Seacrest talks to Chef Wolfgang Puck, who showcases some of his mouthwatering Oscar night treats. The celebrity chef has planned for all diets, with a special 10-course vegan menu.

For some Oscar prediction fun, E!'s film critic Dave Karger goes up against primate Crystal, the monkey from "Hangover 2" and "We Bought a Zoo." Crystal is dressed for the occasion in a red gown and diamond belt. Olympian Gabby Douglas hands pucks to Crystal who drops her pucks into select categories to choose her favorites. For supporting actress: Crystal chooses Helen Hunt. Dave picks Anne Hathaway. For supporting actor, Crystal chooses Christoph Waltz. Dave chooses Robert de Niro. For best actor, both pick Daniel Day Lewis. For best actress, Crystal picks Naomi Watts. Dave picks Jennifer Lawrence.

Versace gowns have been most popular on the red carpet in the last 15 years with 36 appearances. Other appearances: Aramni, including men's attire, 31; Valentino, 21; Dior, 18; Vera Wang, 16; Marchesa, 11; Badgley Mischka, 10; Carolina Herrara, 10; Dolce & Gabbana, 10; Elie Saab, 9; Gucci, 8; Oscar de le Renta, 7; Monique Lhuiller, 5; McQueen, 2.

Wow. Early red carpet coverage is off to a thrilling start. Just after 3 p.m., viewers get to meet the tiger from "Life of Pi," she's from a famous tiger family. Her mom was in "Gladiator." Animal trainer Randy Miller introduces the tiger, who will offer a demonstration of a few tricks at a gorgeous Hollywood hotel pool area. Luckily, it's empty except for E! host Ross Mathews and AnnaLynne McCord, actress from 9021, and several trainers. That's fortunate because the tiger who performs her first trick, "find the mark," very well gets confused during her second trick, "attack against a green screen." They call the tiger back to her crate. The trainers try again but the tiger is still confused and there are a few seconds where it looks like the tiger might run away. Although nervous, Ross, standing behind a live wire, kept his cool. "This is what happens when tigers are on TV and she didn't have what she wanted in that dressing room," Ross said. When the tiger was safely back in her create, Ross said he wasn't too worried because: "I brought, like, extra pairs of pants, so everything is cool."

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