85th Annual Academy Awards - The Winners



Distributor: Various

Released: February 24, 2013


Written by Sara Michelle Fetters



Argo Doesn't 'F' Itself
Ben Affleck’s Iranian Hostage Thriller Wins Best Picture Over Life of Pi, Lincoln

I’m having a hard time coming up with anything of note to write in regards to tonight’s 85th annual Academy Awards. Argo was obviously the big winner, taking home three Oscars for Best Picture, Chris Terrio’s Adapted Screenplay and William Goldenberg’s Editing, but as nice as that news is (the movie did make my own personal 2012 top ten, after all) it doesn’t exactly have me excited. This year’s telecast was, preordained by none other than Captain Kirk himself, something close to a disaster, “Family Guy” creator and Ted director Seth McFarlane lording over a tired, unfunny, tasteless, homophobic, oftentimes sad and overall embarrassing 210-minute-plus abomination that offered up precious few highlights.


Argo producer/director Ben Affleck, producers Grant Heslov and George Clooney accept Oscars for Best Picture PHOTO: Michael Yada / ©A.M.P.A.S.


It really was that bad. A celebration of James Bond offered up a poorly edited montage of clips succeeded by the legendary Dame Shirley Bassey belting her heart out but with the sound mix so off you could barely hear her until the final, beautifully breathless note. A tribute to the last decade of movie musicals which was really nothing more than an excuse to showcase Chicago, Dreamgirls and Les Misérables and forget about every other entry in the genre (no Hairspray, no Mamma Mia!, no Nine, and gosh darn it no The Muppets) that also saw a release in that timeframe. Adelle sang the theme to Skyfall but faced same sound mixing issues that vexed Bassey (as did Nora Jones when it came time to belt out the theme to Ted). The Avengers re-assembled (sans Chris Hemsworth) and managed to look like fools who couldn’t order decent shawarma let alone save the planet. McFarlane sang a song about boobs with the Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles which sounds much better in concept than it was in execution. Worse, his final number with Kristin Chenoweth was a borderline disaster, and by the look on their faces it was apparent both knew it.


As for the awards themselves, Oscar didn’t play favorites dolling things out left and right making sure no single movie left the auditorium with more than four awards. Ang Lee, once again going home as Best Director-winning bridesmaid seeing his film, in this case Life of Pi, not Brokeback Mountain, losing out on the big prize yet still wining multiple statues (in this case for Visual Effect, Cinematography and Original Score). Les Misérables nabbed a trio of Academy Awards, Anne Hathaway singing her way to Best Supporting Actress while the film took home additional Oscars for Makeup and Sound Mixing.


In many ways Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln came out the night’s biggest loser, the critically revered historical epic managing to pull out wins in only two of the 12 categories it was nominated in. Granted, while victory for Production Design was something of a surprise, Daniel Day-Lewis walking away with his third Best Actor Oscar, a new record for the category, certainly was not, his trip to the podium to receive the award from last year’s Best Actress winner Meryl Streep as forgone a conclusion as any the night possessed. But overall Lincoln’s poor showing was something of a minor shock, the film entering the pantheon of Spielberg awards-bait ‘sure things’ like The Color Purple, E.T.: The Extra Terrestrial, Munich, Saving Private Ryan and War Horse that underperformed at the actual ceremony.


Best Actor Daniel Day-Lewis (Lincoln) / Best Actress Jennifer Lawrence (Silver Linings Playbook) PHOTO (both): Michael Yada / ©A.M.P.A.S.


If there was another loser, though, it had to be director David O. Russell’s Silver Linings Playbook. While Jennifer Lawrence did beat out stiff competition from Amour’s Emmanuelle Riva and Zero Dark Thirty star Jessica Chastain for Best Actress, the widely admired comedy-romance-drama hybrid came out a loser in all seven of the remaining categories in which it was nominated. For a while there many, including myself, thought this box office hit was going to prove to be a serious contender for the top awards, a presumption that by all accounts went hugely unfulfilled.


Of moderate surprise were two wins for Django Unchained, one for Quentin Tarantino’s Original Screenplay and the other for Best Supporting Actor Christoph Waltz. Pixar’s Brave, by all accounts the category’s fourth or fifth best film (and this is coming from someone who liked it a ton), took home the prize for Animated Feature, while Michael Haneke’s devastating Amour came out on top as Best Foreign Language Film. In the Documentary Feature category the suitably entertaining, but not exactly deep or transformative, Searching for Sugar Man managed a win, while the 007 adventure Skyfall managed to hit the bull’s eye twice scoring for Original Song and Sound Editing. That latter victory did come with an asterisk, however, Zero Dark Thirty tying in the category a rate Oscar feat that had only happened on five previous occasions (the last coming in 1995 in the Live Action Short category).


I can’t say I have a ton more to say. There were some great speeches, Day-Lewis, Haneke, Tarantino, Lawrence and Documentary Short winners Andrea Nix and Sean Fine being the obvious standouts, and I loved Barabara Streisand’s tribute to Marvin Hamlisch during the In Memoriam sequence, but for the life of me I don’t seem to have the energy or the passion to transcribe any of what they said right now. I’m still to annoyed at the telecast in general, upset at large chunks of it (Visual Effects winners Bill Westenhofer, Guillaume Rocheron, Erik De Boer and Donald Elliott were callously played off to the main theme of Jaws just as they were delivering a heartfelt thank you to currently bankrupt effects house Rhythm & Hues), so much so even the winners I’m happy for and a surprise appearance by First Lady Michelle Obama to announce Best Picture can’t erase the bad taste the show itself left in my mouth.


Best Director Ang Lee (Life of Pi) / Best Original Screenplay Quentin Tarantino (Django Unchained) PHOTO (both): Michael Yada / ©A.M.P.A.S.


This is unfair, of course, as 2012 did prove to be one of the strongest years for cinema we’ve had the good fortune to see in quite some time. The 85th annual Academy Awards did recognize this fact, the diversity of nominations and the way the actual Oscars were divided up between so many quality entertainments representative of this. But as an entertainment writer and a passionate lover of film I feel like every viewer who suffered through this abomination deserved better, and while we’re not talking about Rob Lowe dancing with Snow White part of me can’t help but think as far as long term memories are concerned the aftereffects of this monstrosity could prove to be far worse than anything we can imagine at the present time.





"Amour" Stefan Arndt, Margaret Ménégoz, Veit Heiduschka, Michael Katz

"Argo" Grant Heslov, Ben Affleck and George Clooney, Producers - WINNER!

"Beasts of the Southern Wild" Dan Janvey, Josh Penn and Michael Gottwald, Producers

"Django Unchained" Stacey Sher, Reginald Hudlin and Pilar Savone, Producers

"Les Misérables" Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Debra Hayward and Cameron Mackintosh, Producers

"Life of Pi" Gil Netter, Ang Lee and David Womark, Producers

"Lincoln" Steven Spielberg and Kathleen Kennedy, Producers

"Silver Linings Playbook" Donna Gigliotti, Bruce Cohen and Jonathan Gordon, Producers

"Zero Dark Thirty" Mark Boal, Kathryn Bigelow and Megan Ellison, Producers



Bradley Cooper in "Silver Linings Playbook"

Daniel Day-Lewis in "Lincoln" - WINNER!

Hugh Jackman in "Les Misérables"

Joaquin Phoenix in "The Master"

Denzel Washington in "Flight"



Alan Arkin in "Argo"

Robert De Niro in "Silver Linings Playbook"

Philip Seymour Hoffman in "The Master"

Tommy Lee Jones in "Lincoln"

Christoph Waltz in "Django Unchained" - WINNER!



Jessica Chastain in "Zero Dark Thirty"

Jennifer Lawrence in "Silver Linings Playbook" - WINNER!

Emmanuelle Riva in "Amour"

Quvenzhané Wallis in "Beasts of the Southern Wild"

Naomi Watts in "The Impossible"



Amy Adams in "The Master"

Sally Field in "Lincoln"

Anne Hathaway in "Les Misérables" - WINNER!

Helen Hunt in "The Sessions"

Jacki Weaver in "Silver Linings Playbook"



"Amour" Michael Haneke

"Beasts of the Southern Wild" Benh Zeitlin

"Life of Pi" Ang Lee - WINNER!

"Lincoln" Steven Spielberg

"Silver Linings Playbook" David O. Russell



"Argo" Screenplay by Chris Terrio - WINNER!

"Beasts of the Southern Wild" Screenplay by Lucy Alibar & Benh Zeitlin

"Life of Pi" Screenplay by David Magee

"Lincoln" Screenplay by Tony Kushner

"Silver Linings Playbook" Screenplay by David O. Russell



"Amour" Written by Michael Haneke

"Django Unchained" Written by Quentin Tarantino - WINNER!

"Flight" Written by John Gatins

"Moonrise Kingdom" Written by Wes Anderson & Roman Coppola

"Zero Dark Thirty" Written by Mark Boal



"Brave" Mark Andrews and Brenda Chapman - WINNER!

"Frankenweenie" Tim Burton

"ParaNorman" Sam Fell and Chris Butler

"The Pirates! Band of Misfits" Peter Lord

"Wreck-It Ralph" Rich Moore



"5 Broken Cameras" Emad Burnat and Guy Davidi

"The Gatekeepers" Dror Moreh, Estelle Fialon, Philippa Kowarsky

"How to Survive a Plague" David France, Howard Gertler

"The Invisible War" Kirby Dick, Amy Ziering

"Searching for Sugar Man" Malik Bendjelloul, Simon Chinn




"Amour" Austria - WINNER!

"Kon-Tiki" Norway

"No" Chile

"A Royal Affair" Denmark

"War Witch" Canada


Achievement in Cinematography

"Anna Karenina" Seamus McGarvey

"Django Unchained" Robert Richardson

"Life of Pi" Claudio Miranda - WINNER!

"Lincoln" Janusz Kaminski

"Skyfall" Roger Deakins


Achievement in Costume Design

"Anna Karenina" Jacqueline Durran - WINNER!

"Les Misérables" Paco Delgado

"Lincoln" Joanna Johnston

"Mirror Mirror" Eiko Ishioka

"Snow White and the Huntsman" Colleen Atwood


Best documentary Short Subject

"Inocente" Sean Fine and Andrea Nix Fine - WINNER!

"Kings Point" Sari Gilman and Jedd Wider

"Mondays at Racine" Cynthia Wade and Robin Honan

"Open Heart" Kief Davidson and Cori Shepherd Stern

"Redemption" Jon Alpert and Matthew O'Neill


Achievement in Film Editing

"Argo" William Goldenberg - WINNER!

"Life of Pi" Tim Squyres

"Lincoln" Michael Kahn

"Silver Linings Playbook" Jay Cassidy and Crispin Struthers

"Zero Dark Thirty" Dylan Tichenor and William Goldenberg


Achievement in Makeup and Hairstyling

"Hitchcock" Howard Berger, Peter Montagna and Martin Samuel

"The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" Peter Swords King, Rick Findlater and Tami Lane

"Les Misérables" Lisa Westcott and Julie Dartnell - WINNER!


Achievement in Music (Original Score)

"Anna Karenina" Dario Marianelli

"Argo" Alexandre Desplat

"Life of Pi" Mychael Danna - WINNER!

"Lincoln" John Williams

"Skyfall" Thomas Newman


Achievement in Music (Original Song)

"Before My Time" from "Chasing Ice" Music and Lyric by J. Ralph

"Everybody Needs A Best Friend" from "Ted" Music by Walter Murphy; Lyric by Seth MacFarlane

"Pi's Lullaby" from "Life of Pi" Music by Mychael Danna; Lyric by Bombay Jayashri

"Skyfall" from "Skyfall" Music and Lyric by Adele Adkins and Paul Epworth - WINNER!

"Suddenly" from "Les Misérables" Music by Claude-Michel Schönberg; Lyric by Herbert Kretzmer and Alain Boublil


Achievement in Production Design

"Anna Karenina" Production Design: Sarah Greenwood; Set Decoration: Katie Spencer

"The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" Production Design: Dan Hennah; Set Decoration: Ra Vincent and Simon Bright

"Les Misérables" Production Design: Eve Stewart; Set Decoration: Anna Lynch-Robinson

"Life of Pi" Production Design: David Gropman; Set Decoration: Anna Pinnock

"Lincoln" Production Design: Rick Carter; Set Decoration: Jim Erickson - WINNER!


Best Animated Short Film

"Adam and Dog" Minkyu Lee

"Fresh Guacamole" PES

"Head over Heels" Timothy Reckart and Fodhla Cronin O'Reilly

"Maggie Simpson in "The Longest Daycare"" David Silverman

"Paperman" John Kahrs - WINNER!


Best Live Action Short Film

"Asad" Bryan Buckley and Mino Jarjoura

"Buzkashi Boys" Sam French and Ariel Nasr

"Curfew" Shawn Christensen - WINNER!

"Death of a Shadow (Dood van een Schaduw)" Tom Van Avermaet and Ellen De Waele

"Henry" Yan England


Achievement in Sound Editing

"Argo" Erik Aadahl and Ethan Van der Ryn

"Django Unchained" Wylie Stateman

"Life of Pi" Eugene Gearty and Philip Stockton

"Skyfall" Per Hallberg and Karen Baker Landers - WINNER!

"Zero Dark Thirty" Paul N.J. Ottosson - WINNER!


Achievement in Sound Mixing

"Argo" John Reitz, Gregg Rudloff and Jose Antonio Garcia

"Les Misérables" Andy Nelson, Mark Paterson and Simon Hayes - WINNER!

"Life of Pi" Ron Bartlett, D.M. Hemphill and Drew Kunin

"Lincoln" Andy Nelson, Gary Rydstrom and Ronald Judkins

"Skyfall" Scott Millan, Greg P. Russell and Stuart Wilson


Achievement in Visual Effects

"The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" Joe Letteri, Eric Saindon, David Clayton and R. Christopher White

"Life of Pi" Bill Westenhofer, Guillaume Rocheron, Erik-Jan De Boer and Donald R. Elliott - WINNER!

"Marvel's The Avengers" Janek Sirrs, Jeff White, Guy Williams and Dan Sudick

"Prometheus" Richard Stammers, Trevor Wood, Charley Henley and Martin Hill

"Snow White and the Huntsman" Cedric Nicolas-Troyan, Philip Brennan, Neil Corbould and Michael Dawson



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