Feb 24, 2013 / 9:01 pm
Ang Lee pulled off a huge upset at the Academy Awards with a directing win for the shipwreck story "Life of Pi," taking the prize over Steven Spielberg, who had been favoured for "Lincoln."
Anne Hathaway went from propping up leaden sidekick James Franco at the Academy Awards to hefting a golden statue of her own with a 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." Tarantino also won his second Oscar, for original screenplay for "Django."
Hathaway, whose perkiness helped carry her and the listless Franco through an ill-starred stint as Oscar hosts two years ago, is the third performer in a musical to win supporting actress during the genre's resurgence in the last decade.
"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.
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.
"I have to cast the right people to make those characters come alive," said Tarantino, who won previously for "Pulp Fiction. "And boy, this time, did I do it. Thank you so much, guys."
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.
Oscar host Seth MacFarlane opened with a mildly edgy monologue that offered the usual polite jabs at the academy, the stars and the industry. He took a poke at academy voters over the snub of Ben Affleck, who missed out on a directing nomination for best-picture favourite "Argo," a thriller about the CIA's plot to rescue six Americans during the Iranian hostage crisis.
"The story was so top secret that the film's director is unknown to the academy," MacFarlane said. "They know they screwed up. Ben, it's not your fault."
"Argo" claimed the Oscar for adapted screenplay for Chris Terrio, who worked with Affleck to create a liberally embellished story based on an article about the rescue and part of CIA operative Tony Mendez's memoir.
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.
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 upbeat musical portrait "Searching for Sugar Man" took the documentary feature prize. The film 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 rumoured 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.
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."
Read more World News
- Wave of attacks in Iraq, kill at least 70
- John Lennon guitar sells for $408,000
- Arrests made in Las Vegas iPad killing
- Mice and lizards return from space
- Plane crashes at airshow in Turkey
- One winning ticket for $590M Powerball
- Pope decries banks over people
- French gay marriage law signed
- Car drives into crowd at Virginia parade
- Powerball jackpot $600M and rising
- Plane catches fire at Moscow airport
- First Saudi woman scales Mount Everest
(Click for RSS instructions.)