Los Angeles: Any uncertainty that surrounded Seth MacFarlane's ability to host the biggest night in movies was put to rest quickly when he took the stage Sunday at the 85th Academy Awards in Los Angeles.
Showing considerable poise, MacFarlane, a man best known as the creative force behind the Fox animated series “Family Guy,” opened with a series of jokes that were bona fide winners, landing on just the right tone: confident but not cocksure.
Culminating numerous wins this awards season were “Argo” as best picture, Anne Hathaway as supporting actress for her short but terrifyingly intense performance in “Les Miserables,” and Daniel Day-Lewis as best actor for his performance in the title role of “Lincoln.” He previously won for “My Left Foot” and “There Will Be Blood.”
Many of the remaining winners were of a more unpredictable sort, including Ang Lee as director for “Life of Pi.”
The announcement of best picture included an appearance by first lady Michelle Obama from the White House. Twenty-two-year-old Jennifer Lawrence stumbled on her way up the stairs to accept her Oscar for lead actress for her role as a young widow in “Silver Linings Playbook.” And there was, unexpectedly, a tie (the first since 1995) in what is likely one of the lesser understood categories, sound editing, for “Zero Dark Thirty” and “Skyfall.”
“Django Unchained” came in for some of MacFarlane's diciest jokes. “The story of a man fighting to get back his woman, who's been subjected to unthinkable violence,” he said. “Or, as Chris Brown and Rihanna call it, a date movie.”
After acknowledging titters in the crowd, he barreled ahead: “A lot of controversy over the multiple uses of the N-word (in ‘Django'). I'm told apparently the screenplay is loosely based on Mel Gibson's voicemails.” More uncomfortable laughs from the audience followed. “Oh, so you're on his side,” MacFarlane deadpanned.
Other winners included a visibly shaken Christoph Waltz picked up the best supporting acting award for his performance as a bounty hunter in “Django Unchained.” It is the second Oscar for Waltz, who has won both times for roles in Tarantino films (the first being “Inglourious Basterds”). “Searching for Sugar Man,” the documentary about an American musician, won its category.
The Pixar 3-D adventure “Brave,” about a young Scottish archer who becomes a heroine, won for animated feature. Director Mark Andrews accepted the award, appropriately, in a kilt.
1. Best Picture: Argo
2. Best Director: Ang Lee for 'Life Of Pi'
3. Actor in a Leading Role: Daniel Day-Lewis for 'Lincoln'
4. Actress in a Leading Role: Jennifer Lawrence for 'Silver Linings Playbook'
5. Actor in a Supporting Role: Christoph Waltz for 'Django Unchained'
6. Actress in a Supporting Role: Anne Hathaway for 'Les Miserables'
7. Animated Feature Film: 'Brave' by Mark Andrews and Brenda Chapman
8. Cinematography: 'Life of Pi' for Claudio Miranda
9. Costume Design: 'Anna Karenina' by Jacqueline Durran
10. Documenatry Feature: 'Searching for Sugar Man' by Malik Bendjelloul and Simon Chinn
11. Documentary Short: 'Inocente' by Sean Fine and Andrea Nix Fine
12. Film Editing: William Goldenberg for 'Argo'
13. Foreign Language Film: 'Amour'
14. Makeup and Hairstyling: Lisa Westcott and Julie Dartnell for 'Les Miserables'
15. Music (Original Score): Mychael Danna for 'Life of Pi'
16. Music (Original Song): Adele Adkins and Paul Epworth for Skyfall from 'Skyfall'
17. Production Design: Rick Carter (Production Design); Jim Erickson (Set Decoration) for 'Lincoln'
18. Animated Short Film: John Kahrs for 'Paperman'
19. Short Film (Live Action): Shawn Christensen for 'Curfew'
20. Sound Editing: Per Hallberg and Karen Baker Landers for 'Skyfall' and Paul NJ Ottosson for 'Zero Dark Thirty'
21. Sound Mixing: Andy Nelson, Mark Paterson and Simon Hayes for 'Les Miserables'
22. Visual Effects: Bill Westenhofer, Guillaume Rocheron, Erik-Jan De Boer and Donald R Elliott for 'Life of Pi'
23. Writing (Adapted Screenplay): Chris Terrio for 'Argo'
24. Writing (Original Screenplay): Quentin Tarantino for 'Django Unchained'