Oscars 2013: The Winners – ‘Argo’ Victorious, ‘Life of Pi’ Shines


It was “Argo’s” big night at the 85th Academy Awards, but it was “Life of Pi” that won the most awards on the night with four, including Ang Lee winning his second Best Director statuette (with neither film having won Best Picture, something that hasn’t happend to a two-time Best Director winner since George Stevens in the ’50s).

The Academy was rather charitable with its awards this year, giving three to “Argo” and “Les Misérables” and two a piece to “Django Unchained,” “Skyfall” and “Lincoln.” In fact, every Best Picture nominee received at least one award except “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” which left empty-handed as expected.

Best Motion Picture of the Year

  • “Amour”
  • “Argo”
  • “Beasts of the Southern Wild”
  • “Django Unchained”
  • “Les Misérables”
  • “Life of Pi”
  • “Lincoln”
  • “Silver Linings Playbook”
  • “Zero Dark Thirty”

After watching the ceremony, you had to really remind yourself that “Argo” was the favorite. Definitely deserved though. Affleck gave another heartfelt speech that goes to show how far a career can go. Interesting that he has two Oscars, but none are for acting or directing.

Best Achievement in Directing

  • Michael Haneke – “Amour”
  • Ang Lee – ”Life of Pi”
  • David O. Russell – “Silver Linings Playbook”
  • Steven Spielberg – “Lincoln”
  • Benh Zeitlin – “Beasts of the Southern Wild”
I figured Spielberg would come out on top because it’s Spielberg, but considering all the other awards “Pi” won, it makes more sense to award Lee, who brought the team together to create such a beautiful-looking film.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role

  • Bradley Cooper – “Silver Linings Playbook”
  • Daniel Day-Lewis – “Lincoln”
  • Hugh Jackman – “Les Misérables”
  • Joaquin Phoenix – “The Master”
  • Denzel Washington – ”Flight”

It makes sense that DDL is the only actor with three Best Actor awards. The man is such a talent yet so incredibly humble; he’s an amazing specimen.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role

  • Jessica Chastain – “Zero Dark Thirty”
  • Jennifer Lawrence – “Silver Linings Playbook”
  • Emmanuelle Riva – “Amour”
  • Quvenzhané Wallis – ”Beasts of the Southern Wild”
  • Naomi Watts – “The Impossible”

Lawrence gives such great speeches, but her tumble will likely go down as what everyone remembers about her Oscar win. It’s weird that someone younger than me just won an Oscar. What have I been doing with my life?

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role

  • Amy Adams – “The Master”
  • Sally Field – “Lincoln”
  • Anne Hathaway – “Les Misérables”
  • Helen Hunt – “The Sessions”
  • Jacki Weaver – “Silver Linings Playbook”

After seeing the performance of “One Day More” by the whole “Les Mis” cast, which followed two performances from Best Supporting Actress Oscar winners in the last 10-ish years, it showed just how unsurprising this award was, yet so deserved. Hathaway gave a sweet speech.


Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role

  • Alan Arkin – “Argo”
  • Robert De Niro – “Silver Linings Playbook”
  • Philip Seymour Hoffman – “The Master”
  • Tommy Lee Jones – “Lincoln”
  • Christoph Waltz – “Django Unchained”

Waltz, who won the Globe and the BAFTA Award, sneaks ahead of some incredible vets to win his second award in as many tries. He owes it all to Quentin Tarantino and you can tell he knows it. Talk about the perfect match of actor and filmmaker.

Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen

  • “Amour” – Michael Haneke
  • “Django Unchained” – Quentin Tarantino
  • “Flight” – John Gatins
  • “Moonrise Kingdom” – Wes Anderson, Roman Coppola
  • “Zero Dark Thirty” – Mark Boal

I underestimated the love of “Django” this year, which mostly seems like making up for “Inglourious Basterds,” but nevertheless, Tarantino is clearly beloved. His shout-out to the actors was touching and true.

Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published

  • “Argo” – Chris Terrio
  • “Beasts of the Southern Wild” – Lucy Alibar, Benh Zeitlin
  • “Life of Pi” – David Magee
  • “Lincoln” – Tony Kushner
  • “Silver Linings Playbook” – David O. Russell

A lot of great screenplays here, but this was the deserved winner, especially without a chance to award Ben Affleck for Best Director. Chris Terrio gave a speedy yet really great speech; I always appreciate when people take the time to talk about why the film was significant culturally.

Best Foreign Language Film of the Year

  • “Amour” (Austria)
  • “War Witch” (Canada)
  • “No” (Chile)
  • “A Royal Affair” (Denmark)
  • “Kon-Tiki” (Norway)

The shoo-in of the awards. Haneke gave a nice speech too.

Best Animated Feature Film of the Year

  • “Brave”
  • “Frankenweenie”
  • “ParaNorman”
  • “The Pirates! Band of Misfits”
  • “Wreck-It Ralph”

Pixar comes ahead despite this year being so tight of a race. Too bad, not to say that I didn’t like the film, but “Wreck-It Ralph” was the better one to be sure.

Best Achievement in Cinematography

  • “Anna Karenina” – Seamus McGarvey
  • “Django Unchained” – Robert Richardson
  • “Life of Pi” – Claudio Miranda
  • “Lincoln” – Janusz Kaminski
  • “Skyfall” – Roger Deakins

The unquestionable winner when you consider how much of this was done in a studio. Always cool to see an Oscar winner tear up a bit at a dream come true.

Best Achievement in Production Design

  • “Anna Karenina” – Sarah Greenwood; Katie Spencer
  • “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” – Dan Hennah; Ra Vincent; Simon Bright
  • “Les Misérables” – Eve Stewart; Anna Lynch-Robinson
  • “Life of Pi” – David Gropman, Anna Pinnock
  • “Lincoln” – Rick Carter; Jim Erickson

“Lincoln” was looking to be shut out in the technical categories, so it was nice to see it get a little love here.

Best Achievement in Costume Design

  • “Anna Karenina” – Jacqueline Durran
  • “Les Misérables” – Paco Delgado
  • “Lincoln” – Joanna Johnston
  • “Mirror, Mirror” – Eiko Ishioka
  • “Snow White and the Huntsman” – Colleen Atwood

When in doubt, go with the closest choice to dead monarchs. Durran was in a “deserved it” situation too considering previous nominations for Joe Wright films.

Best Achievement in Film Editing

  • “Argo” – William Goldenberg
  • “Life of Pi” – Tim Squyres
  • “Lincoln” – Michael Kahn
  • “Silver Linings Playbook” – Jay Cassidy, Crispin Struthers
  • “Zero Dark Thirty” – William Goldenberg, Dylan Tichenor

For “Argo” to win Best Picture it needed some technical support, so to speak, and here’s a great example of the excellent craftsmanship that went into the film.

Best Achievement in Makeup and Hairstyling

  • “Hitchcock” – Howard Berger, Peter Montagna, Martin Samuel
  • “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” – Peter King, Rick Findlater, Tami Lane
  • “Les Misérables” – Lisa Westcott, Julie Dartnell

As much as I wanted “The Hobbit” to win, considering the close-ups in “Les Mis,” the aging work was quite excellently done.

Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Score

  • “Anna Karenina” – Dario Marianelli
  • “Argo” – Alexandre Desplat
  • “Life of Pi” – Mychael Danna
  • “Lincoln” – John Williams
  • “Skyfall” – Thomas Newman

The most original score of all the nominees despite some soaring heart-tuggers from Desplat and Williams. A fitting choice.

Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Song

  • “Before My Time” by J. Ralph from “Chasing Ice”
  • “Everybody Needs a Best Friend” by Walter Murphy, Seth MacFarlane from “Ted”
  • “Pi’s Lullaby” by Mychael Danna, Bombay Jayshree
  • “Skyfall” by Adele, Paul Epworth from “Skyfall”
  • “Suddenly” by Alain Boublil, Claude-Michel Schönberg, Herbert Kretzmer from “Les Misérables”
One of the better wins in this category in a long time. I don’t think it was a sure thing, but it was definitely deserved. Adele is so easy to root for. Add her to that special list of Grammy and Oscar winners.

Best Documentary, Features

  • “5 Broken Cameras”
  • “The Gatekeepers”
  • “How to Survive a Plague”
  • “The Invisible War”
  • “Searching for Sugar Man”

The popular doc wins again. Considering the powerful subject matters of the other films, it’s testament to how good this movie is — or how important it is to be popular in order to win.

Best Documentary, Short

  • “Inocente”
  • “Kings Point”
  • “Mondays at Racine”
  • “Open Heart”
  • “Redemption”

Best Short Film, Animated

  • “Adam and Dog”
  • “Fresh Guacamole”
  • “Head Over Heels”
  • “Paperman”
  • “The Simpsons: The Longest Daycare”

Best Short Film, Live Action

  • “Asad”
  • “Buzkashi Boys”
  • “Curfew”
  • “Death of a Shadow”
  • “Henry”

Best Achievement in Sound Editing

  • “Argo” – Erik Aadahi; Ethan Van der Ryn
  • “Django Unchained” – Wylie Stateman
  • “Life of Pi” – Eugene Gearty; Philip Stockton
  • “Skyfall” – Per Hallberg; Karen M. Baker
  • “Zero Dark Thirty” – Paul N.J. Ottosson

A tie? What? That can happen? And what’s with all these tech guys having long blond hair?

Best Achievement in Sound Mixing

  • “Argo” – John T. Reitz, Gregg Rudloff, José Antonio García
  • “Les Misérables” – Andy Nelson, Mark Paterson, Simon Hayes
  • “Life of Pi” – Ron Bartlett, Doug Hemphill, Drew Kunin
  • “Lincoln” – Gary Rydstrom, Andy Neslon, Ron Judkins
  • “Skyfall” – Scott Millan, Greg P. Russell, Stuart Wilson
Musicals just get it done in this category.

Best Achievement in Visual Effects

  • “The Avengers” – Janek Sirrs, Jeff White, Guy Williams, Daniel Sudick
  • “The Hobbit: Any Unexpected Journey” – Joe Letteri, Eric Saindon, David Clayton, R. Christopher White
  • “Life of Pi” – Bill Westenhofer, Guillaume Rocheron, Erik De Boer, Donald Elliott
  • “Prometheus” – Richard Stammers, Trevor Wood, Charley Henley, Martin Hill
  • “Snow White and the Huntsman” – Cedric Nicolas-Troyan, Phil Brennan, Neil Corbould, Michael Dawson

Not only was “Life of Pi” the highest quality film on this list, but they really did make so much of it digitally. Incredibly deserved, just too bad they played Bill Westehofer off with the theme to “Jaws.”

Final Award Count

  • Life of Pi – 4
  • Argo – 3
  • Les Misérables – 3
  • Lincoln – 2
  • Skyfall – 2
  • Django Unchained – 2
  • Silver Linings Playbook – 1
  • Amour – 1
  • Zero Dark Thirty – 1
  • Anna Karenina – 1



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