May 24, 2018
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‘Argo,’ Day-Lewis, Lawrence earn top prizes at Academy Awards

By Jill Serjeant, Reuters

LOS ANGELES — The Iran hostage drama “Argo” won the Oscar for Best Film on Sunday, the top prize at the movie industry’s most coveted awards, beating rival “Lincoln.”

Daniel Day-Lewis won the Best Actor Oscar on Sunday for playing U.S. President Abraham Lincoln in “Lincoln,” becoming the first man to win the trophy three times.

Jennifer Lawrence won the Oscar for Best Actress on Sunday for her role as a young widow in “Silver Linings Playbook.”

“Argo,” which is based on a true story, recounts a CIA mission to rescue six American diplomats from Iran after the 1979 Islamic Revolution, under the cover of making a fake Hollywood film.

“Argo” was voted Best Film on Sunday after winning a slew of other Hollywood awards despite its director, Ben Affleck, being left off the Academy Award directing shortlist.

Day-Lewis, 55, was favorite to win the Academy Award for his quiet, intense performance as one of America’s most respected presidents as he battled to end slavery and the U.S. Civil War.

The British-born actor with dual Anglo-Irish citizenship won virtually every award in the run-up to Sunday’s Oscar ceremony, including a Golden Globe, British BAFTA and Screen Actors Guild statuettes. He is already the holder of Best Actor Oscars for his roles in “My Left Foot” (1989) and “There Will Be Blood” (2007).

Lawrence, who was in a tight race with actress Jessica Chastain for the Academy Award, plays an opinionated young widow in the quirky comedy about a bipolar man and his dysfunctional family.

It was the first Oscar for the 22-year-old, who was previously nominated for best actress in 2011 for her performance in “Winter’s Bone.”

Anne Hathaway won her first Oscar on Sunday and the harrowing Austrian film “Amour” was voted Best Foreign Language Film as the movie industry scattered its highest honors across multiple films.

Hathaway, who starved herself and chopped off her long brown locks to play tragic heroine Fantine in “Les Miserables,” was considered the overwhelming favorite for supporting role in the screen version of the popular stage musical.

“It came true,” she said, looking at the golden statuette.

“Here’s hoping that someday in the not too distant future the misfortunes of Fantine will only be found in stories and not in real life,” Hathaway added.

All the main members of the “Les Miserables” cast sang a rousing version of “Suddenly” from the film in a telecast that was packed with musical numbers, including a show-stopping performance by ‘Dreamgirls” Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson.

“Amour,” the heart-wrenching tale of an elderly couple coping with the wife’s debilitating stroke, gave Austria the Best Foreign Language film after it had dominated awards shows in Europe and the United States for months.

Presidential drama “Lincoln” went into Sunday’s three-hour plus ceremony with a leading 12 nominations, including a directing nod for double Oscar winner Steven Spielberg.

But midway through the show no film was in a dominant position, leaving few clues as to who might win the big four awards — Actor, Actress, Director, and Best Picture — towards the close of the ceremony at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood.

Christoph Waltz, was the surprise winner of the closest contest going into the ceremony. He took Best Supporting Actor honors for his turn as an eccentric dentist-turned-bounty-hunter in Quentin Tarantino’s slavery revenge fantasy “Django Unchained.”

It was Waltz’s second Oscar, after winning one for the Tarantino movie “Inglourious Basterds” in 2010.

Seth MacFarlane, making his debut as Oscars host, turned the telecast into a running joke about whether he would be deemed the worst Oscar host ever by the media on Monday.

“I honestly cannot believe I am here. It’s an honor that everyone else said ‘no,’” said the creator of provocative edgy animated TV series “Family Guy.”

MacFarlane mixed big music and dance numbers with edgy sketches, and barbs about Hollywood A-listers.

His biggest laugh came in a reference to director Ben Affleck’s snub in the directing race for his Iran hostage thriller “Argo” about a CIA mission 30 years ago.

“The story was so top secret that the film’s director was unknown to the Academy!,” MacFarlane quipped.

“Brave,” the Pixar movie about a feisty Scottish princess, took home the golden statuette for Best Animated Feature.

After several years of nominating little-seen movies, this year’s nine Best Picture contenders have pulled in more than $2 billion in tickets worldwide.

The Oscar winners were chosen in secret ballots by some 5,800 members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.


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