Best Picture: "Argo."
Actor: Daniel Day-Lewis, "Lincoln."
Actress: Jennifer Lawrence, "Silver Linings Playbook."
Supporting Actor: Christoph Waltz, "Django Unchained."
Supporting Actress: Anne Hathaway, "Les Miserables."
READ THE FULL LIST OF WINNERS below
"I would argue that the actor who really got inside Abraham Lincoln's head was John Wilkes Booth."
- Oscar Host Seth McFarlane
Just as Oscar host Seth MacFarlane set his sights on a variety of targets with a mixture of hits and misses, the motion picture academy spread the gold around to a varied slate of films. "Argo" won best picture as expected, along with two other prizes. But "Life of Pi" won the most awards with four, including a surprise win for director Ang Lee.
MacFarlane proves he's an Oscar guy in hosting gig
He ruffled feathers. He maybe even turned some viewers off.
But it's likely no one turned off Seth MacFarlane.
Best-known until recently as the bad-boy creator and character voice behind "Family Guy" and last summer's hit film "Ted," MacFarlane seized the camera Sunday as host of ABC's Oscarcast and proved to its vast audience that he's a ridiculously versatile entertainer, a guy who can be as charming as he is famously irreverent, even polarizing.
Here's a guy who could toss off a joke Bob Hope might have delivered decades ago ("It's Sunday. Everybody's dressed up. This is like church - only with more people praying"), then carry off a deliberate groaner like his wisecrack that, while, an actor like Daniel Day-Lewis really captured Abraham Lincoln in his Oscar-winning performance, "I would argue that the actor who really got inside Abraham Lincoln's head was John Wilkes Booth."
Viewers could have gotten fair warning of what to expect from MacFarlane last fall when he hosted "Saturday Night Live" with skill.
But this Oscars hosting gig was the Main Event, and he earned a large measure of credit for keeping the show in satisfying equilibrium.
This was an elegant affair, including a surprise appearance by first lady Michelle Obama, live from the White House, who announced the best picture.
The lovely stage setting glowed and shimmered. And it was put to good use in a show-stopping production number saluting movie musicals including "Chicago," "Dreamgirls" and "Les Miserables," performed by stars from those films.
On a program that honored the 50th anniversary of the James Bond films, Adele wailed the theme song from the newest, "Skyfall." Far juicier, Shirley Bassey belted out the theme from "Goldfinger" about as forcefully as she did in 1964.
And accompanying the In Memoriam tribute, in a year that saw the passing of composer-songwriter Marvin Hamlisch, Barbra Streisand made a rare television appearance to sing "The Way We Were" in his honor.
(If any of the studio-perfect performances raised suspicions of lip-syncing, the academy declared all the singing was done live.)
Speaking of music, the orchestra got surprisingly aggressive forcing off winners in mid-acceptance, often with the sinister theme from "Jaws," of all things.
But silver-tressed Claudio Miranda, accepting the best cinematography Oscar for "Life of Pi," didn't need the hook. Beginning with "Aw, gee, wow," he seemed to be channeling Diane Keaton in "Annie Hall" as he gratefully stumbled through his thank-yous with a series of gasps, sentence fragments, and finally his own self-imposed wrap-up, "Oh, my God, I can't even speak." In his brief appearance, he became the patron saint of any viewer who was ever forced to speak in public from the heart - and crumbled.
Few presenters knocked it out of the park in their fleeting turns, but none had viewers' teeth grinding.
Perhaps inevitably, Mark Wahlberg was reunited with his "Ted" co-star, a digitally rendered Teddy bear voiced by MacFarlane. Ted, at his politically incorrect best, wondered aloud where the post-Oscars orgy would be ("Jack Nicholson's house," Wahlberg finally replied) and professed that he was Jewish to ensure he would "work in this town."
Yes, MacFarlane had his moments of dubious taste. What did anybody expect who'd ever spent a moment with "Family Guy"?
But did he really cross the line when he described "Django Unchained" as "the story of a man fighting to get back his woman who's been subjected to unthinkable violence - or, as Chris Brown and Rihanna call it, a date movie"?
Especially on a night where everyone else seemed to be on their best behavior, MacFarlane's strategic misbehavior furnished welcome relief.
In interviews beforehand, he had spoken of his hope to strike a balance between respect for Hollywood and some necessary sass. Mission accomplished.
Leading-man handsome with a gleaming smile, he began the broadcast without a net and looking totally relaxed: Alone on the stage, he delivered a series of one-liners, most of which scored. (The Oscarcast was being watched by "close to a billion people worldwide," he intoned, "which is why Jodie Foster will be up here in a bit to ask for her privacy.")
Then he opened the door to his reputation for raunch with the appearance on a video screen of William Shatner as "Star Trek's" Captain Kirk, who had arrived from the future to scold MacFarland in advance for the hosting performance he was just starting.
"The show's a disaster," declared Shatner.
As evidence, he pointed to an "incredibly offensive song that upsets a lot of actresses in the audience."
With that, a pre-taped production number featured MacFarlane singing "We Saw Your Boobs," saluting a roster of actresses who have bared themselves in their films.
But then, in an effort to atone, MacFarlane sang a classy rendition of "The Way You Look Tonight" accompanied by Charlize Theron and Channing Tatum in dance.
Not good enough, said Shatner, who then revealed a video clip where MacFarlane, costumed in a Flying Nun habit, hit on Oscar nominee Sally Field in the green room.
Back and forth went the routine: Bad Seth and Good Seth. Both were very funny, stewarding a broadcast that never went askew.
"Les Miserables" also won three Academy Awards, while "Django Unchained" and "Skyfall" each took two.
Among the winners were the front-runners throughout this lengthy awards season: best actor Daniel Day-Lewis for his deeply immersed portrayal of Abraham Lincoln in Steven Spielberg's epic "Lincoln," best actress Jennifer Lawrence as a troubled young widow in "Silver Linings Playbook" and supporting actress Anne Hathaway as the doomed prostitute Fantine in the musical "Les Miserables." Christoph Waltz was a bit of a surprise for supporting actor as a charismatic bounty hunter in Quentin Tarantino's "Django Unchained," an award he'd won just three years ago for Tarantino's "Inglorious Basterds."
The 22-year-old Lawrence, who got to show her lighter side in the oddball romance "Silver Linings Playbook" following serious roles in "Winter's Bone" and "The Hunger Games," gamely laughed at herself as she tripped on the stairs en route to the stage in her poufy, pale pink Dior Haute Couture gown. Backstage in the press room, when a reporter asked what she was thinking, she responded: "A bad word that I can't say that starts with `F.'" Keeping journalists in hysterics, she explained, "I'm sorry. I did a shot before I ... sorry."
That's the kind of raunchiness MacFarlane himself seemed to be aiming for as host while also balancing the more traditional demands of the job.
There was a ton of singing and dancing during the three-and-half-hour broadcast - no surprise from the musically minded creator of the animated series "Family Guy" - including a poignant performance from Barbra Streisand of "The Way We Were," written by the late Marvin Hamlisch, during the memorial montage.
But MacFarlane also tried to keep the humor edgy with shots at Mel Gibson, George Clooney, Chris Brown and Rihanna.
An extended bit in which William Shatner came back from the future as his "Star Trek" character, Capt. James T. Kirk, had its moments while a joke about the drama "Flight" being restaged entirely with sock puppets was a scream.
A John Wilkes Booth gag in reference to "Lincoln" was a bit of a groaner, perhaps intentionally, while MacFarlane relied on his alter ego, the cuddly teddy bear from his directorial debut "Ted," to make a crack about a post-Oscar orgy at Jack Nicholson's house. (MacFarlane already has indicated he's one-and-done with Academy Awards hosting.)
But it was Day-Lewis who came up with the kind of pop-culture riffing that's MacFarlane's specialty. In accepting his record third best-actor award from presenter Meryl Streep, he deadpanned that before they'd swapped roles, he originally was set to play Margaret Thatcher "and Meryl was Steven's first choice for `Lincoln,' and I'd like to see that version."
Besides best picture, "Argo" won for Chris Terrio's adapted screenplay and for William Goldenberg's film editing. Affleck famously (and strangely) wasn't included in the best-director category for his thrilling and surprisingly funny depiction of a daring rescue during the 1979 Iranian hostage crisis. But as a producer on the film alongside George Clooney and Grant Heslov, he got to take home the top prize of the night.
"I never thought I'd be back here, and I am because of so many of you in this academy," said Affleck, who shared a screenplay Oscar with pal Matt Damon 15 years earlier for their breakout film "Good Will Hunting."
Among the wisdom he's acquired since then: "You can't hold grudges - it's hard but you can't hold grudges."
Lee, who previously won best director in 2006 for "Brokeback Mountain" (which also didn't win best picture), was typically low-key and self-deprecating in victory.
His "Life of Pi" is a fable set in glorious 3-D, but Spielberg looked like the favorite for "Lincoln." The film also won for its cinematography, original score and visual effects.
"Thank you, movie god," the Taiwanese director said on stage. Later, he thanked his agents and said: "I have to do that," with a little shrug and a smile.
"Les Miserables" also won for sound mixing and makeup and hairstyling. The other Oscar for "Django Unchained" came for Tarantino's original screenplay. Asked about his international appeal backstage, Tarantino was enthusiastic as usual in saying: "I'm an American, and a filmmaker, but I make movies for the planet Earth."
Speaking of global hits, the James Bond action thriller "Skyfall" won for its original song by the unstoppable Adele (with Paul Epworth). It also tied for sound editing with "Zero Dark Thirty," the only win of the night for Kathryn Bigelow's detailed saga about the hunt for Osama bin Laden.
Among the other winners, "Searching for Sugar Man," about a forgotten musician's rediscovery, took the prize for best documentary feature. Pixar's fairy tale "Brave" won best animated feature.
One of the biggest moments of the night came at the end, as First Lady Michelle Obama announced the winner of the best picture prize. Backstage, Affleck described how surreal it was when he heard her say the word: "Argo."
"I was sort of hallucinating when that was happening," he explained. "In the course of a hallucination it doesn't seem that odd: `Oh look, a purple elephant. Oh look, Michelle Obama.'"
List of the 85th annual Academy Award winners announced Sunday in Los Angeles:
1. Best Picture: "Argo."
2. Actor: Daniel Day-Lewis, "Lincoln."
3. Actress: Jennifer Lawrence, "Silver Linings Playbook."
4. Supporting Actor: Christoph Waltz, "Django Unchained."
5. Supporting Actress: Anne Hathaway, "Les Miserables."
6. Directing: Ang Lee, "Life of Pi."
7. Foreign Language Film: "Amour."
8. Adapted Screenplay: Chris Terrio, "Argo."
9. Original Screenplay: Quentin Tarantino, "Django Unchained."
10. Animated Feature Film: "Brave."
11. Production Design: "Lincoln."
12. Cinematography: "Life of Pi."
13. Sound Mixing: "Les Miserables."
14. Sound Editing (tie): "Skyfall," "Zero Dark Thirty."
15. Original Score: "Life of Pi," Mychael Danna.
16. Original Song: "Skyfall" from "Skyfall," Adele Adkins and Paul Epworth.
17. Costume: "Anna Karenina."
18. Documentary Feature: "Searching for Sugar Man."
19. Documentary (short subject): "Inocente."
20. Film Editing: "Argo."
21. Makeup and Hairstyling: "Les Miserables."
22. Animated Short Film: "Paperman."
23. Live Action Short Film: "Curfew."
24. Visual Effects: "Life of Pi."
Oscar winners previously presented this season: Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award: Jeffrey Katzenberg, Honorary Award: Hal Needham, Honorary Award: D.A. Pennebaker, Honorary Award: George Stevens Jr., Award of Merit: Cooke Optics