Making Oscars history: Daniel Day-Lewis wins third best actor 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
It was an evening of few surprises, yet Oscar history was made more than once at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles last night.
Daniel Day-Lewis cemented his status as the pre-eminent film actor of this or any generation, by taking home a record third Academy Award for Best Actor, for his performance as America’s 16th President in Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln. "I really don't know how any of this happened. I do know I've received much more than my fair share of good fortune in my life," he said.
The First Lady, Michelle Obama, then appeared from the White House to name Ben Affleck’s Argo Best Picture, capping an extraordinary awards season for the actor-turned-director, whose drama about the Iranian hostage crisis was also garlanded at the BAFTAs and the Golden Globes. Affleck won his first Oscar in 1998 for his Good Will Hunting screenplay, written with Matt Damon. He then endured almost a decade of flops and critical derision before making his comeback behind the camera. Accepting the prize for Best Picture last night, he said, “Doesn’t matter how you get knocked down in life; all that matters is you’ve got to get up.”
Argo also became the only the fourth film to win the Academy’s top prize without a corresponding nomination in the directing category, after Affleck was controversially omitted from the shortlist. That left Ang Lee to pick up his second Oscar for Best Director, for his adaptation of Yann Martell’s Booker Prize-winning novel Life of Pi.
Lee’s film was the ceremony’s most prolific winner, taking four Oscars in total, but it was a night that rewarded many titles, with the eight major categories divided among six separate films. Quentin Tarantino’s slavery-based western Django Unchained triumphed in the Best Original Screenplay category, while one of its stars, Christoph Waltz, claimed his second Oscar for Best Supporting Actor. Jennifer Lawrence was named Best Actress for her performance in Silver Linings Playbook; at 22, she is one of the award’s youngest ever recipients. The Best Supporting Actress category also went according to form, with Anne Hathaway picking up the gong for her turn in Les Misérables.
The big loser of the night was Kathryn Bigelow’s Zero Dark Thirty, which began the awards season as a heavyweight contender, but was undone by controversy over its scenes of torture used to gather intelligence in the hunt for Osama bin Laden. Posterity is likely to treat Bigelow’s film more kindly than the Academy, which awarded Zero Dark Thirty just one Oscar, for Sound Editing, which it shared with Skyfall.
That was only the sixth tie in Oscar history. It was also the first award for a film in the Bond franchise since Thunderball won in the Special Visual Effects category in 1966. Skyfall went on to win a second Oscar, as Adele added to her nine Grammys and four Brits with an Academy Award for Best Original song, which she accepted alongside her “Skyfall” co-writer, Paul Epworth.
The ceremony was masterminded by Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, executive producers of 2002’s Best Picture winner Chicago, and featured vocal performances from a succession of stars, including Adele, Dame Shirley Bassey, Barbra Streisand, Jennifer Hudson and Russell Crowe.
Threat of 'catastrophic cascade of collisions' must be averted, warn scientists
Arts & Ents blogs
Britain's top vet sparks controversy with call for ban on slashing animals' throats in 'ritual' slaughters for halal and kosher meat products
Poor 'live like animals' says Boris's privately educated sister after going on 'poverty safari'
Exclusive: Impact of immigrants on British workers ‘negligible’
Vince Cable: Teachers 'know absolutely nothing' about the world of work
Ukraine crisis: Russia pledges to 'retaliate against sanctions' as Ukrainian president says Crimea vote will not be recognised
The quiet diplomat: Catherine Ashton - recognised and admired in all the world’s troubled countries, yet ridiculed at home
- 1 Oxford is the least affordable city in the UK, where houses cost 11 times local salaries
- 2 Australian man Rod Sommerville reacts to bite from deadly snake by reaching for cold beer
- 3 North Korea elections: Kim Jong-un wins 100% of the vote
- 4 David Cameron resorts to paying for Facebook fans because not enough people like him
- 5 Steve Irwin’s final words: Cameraman present at death opens up about deadly stingray attack for the first time