Oscars 2013: Iranian hostage thriller ‘Argo’ wins Best Picture

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“Argo,” a fact-based thriller about the Iran hostage crisis starring Ben Affleck scooped the Oscar for best picture at the 85th Academy Awards.

The award was recieved in a unique presentation done by Jack Nicholson in Hollywood and First Lady Michelle Obama by videolink.

“Argo” bested eight rivals for the top prize: “Amour,” “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” “Django Unchained,” “Les Miserables,” “Life of Pi,” “Lincoln,” “Silver Linings Playbook,” and “Zero Dark Thirty.”

On Nicholson’s cue, Obama -- in a glittering silvery gown as stunning as any worn by the stars inside the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood -- opened the envelope at the White House and declared “Argo” the winner.

“I want to thank Canada. I want to thank our friends in Iran, who live under terrible circumstances,” said Affleck, a co-producer of the film, speaking at top speed in the very last minutes of the live prime-time Oscar broadcast.

“Argo” recounts how a group of U.S. diplomats who took refuge in the Canadian embassy in Tehran during the Iran hostage crisis were spirited out of the Islamic republic as members of a bogus movie crew.

Daniel Day-Lewis won a record third best actor Oscar on Sunday, confirming his status as one of the finest actors of his generation, with an incredible range and astonishing attention to detail.

His uncanny performance as the 16th U.S. president in “Lincoln” could hardly be further away from his character in “My Left Foot,” in which he played a man with cerebral palsy to win his first Academy Award in 1990.

The British-Irish actor also played a gay man in an inter-racial relationship in 1985’s “My Beautiful Laundrette,” in the same year he appeared in the quintessentially upper-class Englishman in “A Room with a View.”

Day-Lewis -- who won his other Oscar as a ruthless oil tycoon in 2007’s “There Will Be Blood” -- is renowned for the selectiveness and intense research with which he approaches each of his roles.

The 55-year-old actor has made only four films in the last decade. But without exception, Day-Lewis has immersed himself in each of his roles to a degree that has become legendary.

Meanwhile, Jennifer Lawrence became one of the youngest best actress Oscar winners ever Sunday for “Silver Linings Playbook” -- using her “Hunger Games” drive to secure Hollywood’s highest honor.

“You guys are just standing up because you feel bad that I fell. This is nuts!” Lawrence said about the standing ovation she received after she tripped on her way up onto the stage in a voluminous Dior Couture gown.

Taiwanese-born Ang Lee was the first Asian ever to win an Oscar for directing, in 2006 for gay cowboy movie “Brokeback Mountain.” Seven years later he has done it again with 3D fantasy “Life of Pi.”

“Thank you, movie god,” Lee told the audience at the 85th Academy Awards on Sunday after accepting his award. “I need to thank Yann Martel for writing this incredibly inspiring book.”

Turning his hand to just about every movie genre, the 58-year-old immigrant has earned himself awards, acclaim -- and sometimes the ire -- of critics and a lot of money at the global box office.

“Life of Pi,” based on the 2001 novel by Canadian novelist Martel, tells the tale of an Indian boy cast adrift in the Pacific, sharing his boat with a Bengal tiger named Richard Parker.

The following is a list of the winners at the 85th Academy Awards on Sunday:

- Best picture: “Argo”

- Best director: Ang Lee, “Life of Pi”

- Best leading actor: Daniel Day-Lewis in “Lincoln”

- Best leading actress: Jennifer Lawrence in “Silver Linings Playbook”

- Best supporting actor: Christoph Waltz in “Django Unchained”

- Best supporting actress: Anne Hathaway in “Les Miserables”

- Best foreign language film: “Amour” (Love)

- Best animated feature: “Brave”

- Best original screenplay: Quentin Tarantino, “Django Unchained”

- Best adapted screenplay: Chris Terrio, “Argo”

- Best original score: “Life of Pi”

- Best original song: “Skyfall,” music and lyrics by Adele and Paul Epworth

- Best production design: “Lincoln”

- Best cinematography: “Life of Pi”

- Best costume design: “Anna Karenina”

- Best documentary feature: “Searching for Sugar Man”

- Best documentary short: “Inocente”

- Best film editing: “Argo”

- Best makeup: “Les Miserables”

- Best short animated film: “Paperman”

- Best short live action film: “Curfew”

- Best sound editing: “Zero Dark Thirty”

- Best sound mixing: “Les Miserables”

- Best visual effects: “Life of Pi”

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