The US first lady Michelle Obama made a surprise and unprecedented appearance when she presented the Best Picture award to Ben Affleck for his thriller, “Argo”.
The director said he felt he was “hallucinating” when she announced the award, which may be why he was slightly at a loss for words during his emotional acceptance speech.
The Iran hostage drama marks a triumphant comeback for Affleck, who failed to get a nomination in the directing category.
But there was no personal reward for Steven Spielberg, despite his film “Lincoln” going into the awards with 12 nominations
As widely expected, Daniel Day-Lewis made Hollywood history as he stepped up to collect his third Academy Award, and received a standing ovation in the process.
Having won virtually every award in the run-up to Sunday’s Oscar ceremony the 55-year-old British-born actor was favourite to win for his quiet, intense performance as one of America’s most respected presidents as he battled to end slavery and the US Civil War.
Jennifer Lawrence won her first Oscar on Sunday for her lead role as an outspoken young widow in the quirky comedy “Silver Linings Playbook.”
Lawrence, 22, fended off strong competition from Jessica Chastain and 86-year old French actress Emmanuelle Riva for the
Best Actress prize.
Ang Lee won his second Oscar for Best Directing for “Life of Pi” – the adaption of Yann Martel’s fantasy adventure novel about an Indian boy’s adventures after he survives a shipwreck but becomes stranded in a lifeboat with a Bengal tiger.
The film also picked up statuettes for Cinematography, Original Score and Visual Effects.
In the Best Foreign Language Film category, the Austrian drama, Amour, scooped the award, capping a year-long run of triumphs for its director Michael Haneke. The unflinching take on devotion, old age and illness details the everyday struggles and indignities of elderly Parisian couple Anne and Georges as they confront Anne’s slide toward death.
Christopher Waltz won Best Supporting Actor for his role in Quentin Taratino’s Django Unchained which scooped Best Original Screenplay, and Anne Hathaway took the Best Supporting Actress gong for her portrayal of Fantine in Les Miserables.