First Lady scores a first at the Oscars: Michelle Obama presents Best Picture award
Tim Walker is The Independent’s Los Angeles correspondent, covering entertainment and other concerns from the West Coast of the US. He was previously a features writer and the editor of the paper’s diary column. His first novel, Completion, is being published in January 2014.
Monday 25 February 2013
There’s a first time for everything at the Oscars, including the First Lady. Last night Michelle Obama made a surprise appearance at the Academy Awards, presenting a gong via a live satellite link-up from the White House in Washington DC.
Mrs Obama paid tribute to the movie industry, before opening the crucial gold envelope and naming Ben Affleck’s Argo Best Picture. Bill Clinton recently appeared at the Golden Globes to introduce Steve Spielberg’s presidential biopic Lincoln, but this is the first time any president or first lady has presented an Academy Award.
After the ceremony, the White House and the Academy explained how Mrs Obama’s appearance had been organised. The idea was reportedly first mooted by Lily Weinstein, daughter of Harvey Weinstein, the veteran Oscar campaigner and producer of Best Picture contender Silver Linings Playbook, who also hosted a multimillion-dollar Hollywood fundraiser for the President during his re-election campaign last year. Miss Weinstein suggested the plan to her father, who brought it to the Oscar producers and to Academy president Howard Koch. The group then flew to Washington within the last fortnight to thrash out the logistics.
Mrs Obama was unable to attend the ceremony personally, as she and the President were hosting a dinner for state Governors in Washington. In a statement, the White House said, “The Academy Awards approached the First Lady about being a part of the ceremony. As a movie lover, she was honoured to present the award and celebrate the artists who inspire us all – especially our young people – with their passion, skill and imagination.”
Speaking to the press backstage after the ceremony, Argo’s director said he was “sort of hallucinating” as Jack Nicholson introduced Mrs Obama to the audience at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. “Over the course of a hallucination, it doesn't seem that odd,” said Affleck. “Oh, a purple elephant. Oh, Michelle Obama… In retrospect, anyway, it was very cool.”
TVBBC hopes latest Danish import will spell success
tvU2’s latest record has been accused of promoting sex between men
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Which country would be hardest to invade?
- 2 The man who filmed the Freddie Gray video has been arrested at gunpoint
- 3 Royal baby girl born: Duchess of Cambridge's second child will be a princess thanks to Queen
- 4 Uploading pictures to find out how old you are gives Microsoft the right to post them wherever they want
- 5 Teen suffers embarrassing wardrobe malfunction in front of deputy PM
Daredevil, Netflix, TV review: Marvel wins first fight in bid for television domination with Charlie Cox's superhero vigilante
London art exhibition features portrait of Iraqi migrant shot dead in Iraq after being refused UK asylum
Grace Dent on TV: Peter Kay's Car Share made me genuinely LOL
Fifty Shades of Grey movie shows first sex scene 'after 40 minutes'
London Marathon: Best running songs from Beyoncé and Kendrick Lamar to 'Uptown Funk'
Over 50,000 families shipped out of London boroughs in the past three years due to welfare cuts and soaring rents
EU asylum policy is 'a direct threat to our civilisation', says Nigel Farage
Indonesia executions live: 'Hysterical' families heard prisoners being shot dead by firing squad
General Election 2015: SNP and its activists 'openly racist' towards the English, Farage says
EU exit would hit UK economy much harder than neighbouring countries, study finds
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?