2013 Oscars: Winners, Surprises, Upsets and Commentary


Alan Arkin, Bryan Cranston, Alexandre Desplat, Ben Affleck, Grant Heslov, and George Clooney accept the Oscar for Best Picture

Alan Arkin, Bryan Cranston, Alexandre Desplat, Ben Affleck, Grant Heslov, and George Clooney accept the Oscar for Best Picture
Photo: AMPAS

What a night! Seriously, the 2013 Oscars had its share of ups and downs and I’m sure plenty of hatred will be thrown the way of host Seth MacFarlane whose joke selection was all over the place from great to terrible to tasteless to tame, but I’m actually talking about the way tonight’s Oscars shared the wealth so evenly. Twelve films won Oscars tonight, 15 if you count the shorts. Argo took home Best Picture, Film Editing and Adapted Screenplay, but in the end it was Life of Pi with the most awards, including the upset over Steven Spielberg (Lincoln).

The Oscars often give us plenty to discuss in terms of taste and we all may disagree on many of the overall winners, but I have a much harder time disagreeing when there is no kind of consensus. After all, how often does one single film, over the span of 365 days nail every aspect of the filmmaking process? There was a lost of greatness to be found in the films of 2012 and while your winners, and mine, may not have matched up with the Academy’s choices, I enjoyed seeing such a variety.

Speaking of which, here are the winner totals for the night:

  1. Life of Pi (4 Oscars)
  2. Argo (3 Oscars)
  3. Les Miserables (3 Oscars)
  4. Lincoln (2 Oscars)
  5. Skyfall (2 Oscars)
  6. Django Unchained (2 Oscars)
  7. Brave (1 Oscar)
  8. Silver Linings Playbook (1 Oscar)
  9. Zero Dark Thirty (1 Oscar)
  10. Amour (1 Oscar)
  11. Searching for Sugar Man (1 Oscar)
  12. Anna Karenina (1 Oscar)

Over the course of the year I am constantly tracking the Oscars, trying to predict the winners and this year my performance was the same as the last, going 19 for 24. The readers, however, one-upped me, going Django Unchained put them over the top.

Quentin Tarantino at the 2013 OscarsThe two categories I felt I was taking a real chance were in Best Supporting Actor and Best Original Screenplay, and both ended up biting me. I just didn’t think the Academy would go for Django, but in the end it was Christoph Waltz and Quentin Tarantino giving acceptance awards. Considering it’s my favorite film from 2012, I’d rather be wrong and see wins for Django than any other film.

Elsewhere, there was a lot of talk of Jennifer Lawrence (Silver Linings Playbook) losing ground to Emmanuelle Riva (Amour), but in the end it was Lawrence taking home her first Oscar and she even managed to play off a slip up the stairs, which she will hopefully be able to forget.

Daniel Day-Lewis (Lincoln) became the only three-time Best Actor Oscar winner and to most it seemed Meryl Streep didn’t even open the envelope before announcing his name. (Of course, she probably did what most should have done and opened it while the nominees were being announced.)

For Best Director there was clearly a faction that thought Ang Lee (Life of Pi) would take it, but I remained firm in my belief Spielberg would take it home. When Lee’s name was read it was a bit hard to believe. Life of Pi seemed like a film to be respected, but to win Best Director? Like I said, ups and downs.

Probably the biggest surprise of the night, for me at least, came with the tie for Sound Editing. Even the audience was a bit shocked to the point Mark Wahlberg had to say, “It’s what it says!” More frustrating for me was that with two shots to predict the winner correctly, Life of Pi still didn’t get an Oscar as Skyfall and Zero Dark Thirty took home the shared category.

And finally, Argo winning Best Picture seemed like the obvious thing considering all the wins it racked up on the way, but even still, until it was announced I was willing to accept anything. In addition, I thought Ben Affleck gave one of the best speeches of the night and, in fact, the ceremony was bookended with what I’d say were the two most heartfelt speeches — Waltz to open the show and Affleck to close it.

Now I have the winners all listed right here in my Oscar history database, but I have also listed them all below along with the nominees. The winners are highlighted in bold, red text and other than that… I don’t think there is much else to say.

If you missed how the ceremony played out, you can read our six-page live blog and I also have been told viewers in the U.S. will be able to stream tonight’s Oscars show in its entirety across multiple platforms including ABC.com, the ABC Player app, and the free, ad-supported Hulu and Hulu Plus subscription service. The show will also be available via ABC On Demand, the network’s fast forward-disabled VOD service. So, if you missed it, you have your options.

Now check out those winners and keep your eyes peeled, I just might have 2014 Oscar contenders and predictions for you in the very near future.

Best Picture

  1. Beasts of the Southern Wild
  2. Silver Linings Playbook
  3. Zero Dark Thirty
  4. Lincoln
  5. Les Misérables
  6. Life of Pi
  7. Amour
  8. Django Unchained
  9. Argo

Best Actor

  1. Daniel Day-Lewis (Lincoln)
  2. Denzel Washington (Flight)
  3. Hugh Jackman (Les Misérables)
  4. Bradley Cooper (Silver Linings Playbook)
  5. Joaquin Phoenix (The Master)

Best Actress

  1. Naomi Watts (The Impossible)
  2. Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty)
  3. Jennifer Lawrence (Silver Linings Playbook)
  4. Emmanuelle Riva (Amour)
  5. Quvenzhane Wallis (Beasts of the Southern Wild)

Best Supporting Actor

  1. Christoph Waltz (Django Unchained)
  2. Phillip Seymour Hoffman (The Master)
  3. Robert De Niro (Silver Linings Playbook)
  4. Alan Arkin (Argo)
  5. Tommy Lee Jones (Lincoln)

Best Supporting Actress

  1. Sally Field (Lincoln)
  2. Anne Hathaway (Les Misérables)
  3. Jacki Weaver (Silver Linings Playbook)
  4. Helen Hunt (The Sessions)
  5. Amy Adams (The Master)

Best Director

  1. David O. Russell (Silver Linings Playbook)
  2. Ang Lee (Life of Pi)
  3. Steven Spielberg (Lincoln)
  4. Michael Haneke (Amour)
  5. Benh Zeitlin (Beasts of the Southern Wild)

Best Writing (Adapted Screenplay)

  1. Lucy Alibar and Benh Zeitlin (Beasts of the Southern Wild)
  2. Chris Terrio (Argo)
  3. Tony Kushner (Lincoln)
  4. David O. Russell (Silver Linings Playbook)
  5. David Magee (Life of Pi)

Best Writing (Original Screenplay)

  1. John Gatins (Flight)
  2. Mark Boal (Zero Dark Thirty)
  3. Quentin Tarantino (Django Unchained)
  4. Michael Haneke (Amour)
  5. Wes Anderson and Roman Coppola (Moonrise Kingdom)

Best Animated Feature Film

  1. Frankenweenie
  2. The Pirates! Band of Misfits
  3. Wreck-It Ralph
  4. ParaNorman
  5. Brave

Best Documentary (Feature)

  1. 5 Broken Cameras
  2. The Gatekeepers
  3. How to Survive a Plague
  4. The Invisible War
  5. Searching for Sugar Man

Best Foreign Language Film

  1. Amour
  2. No
  3. War Witch
  4. A Royal Affair
  5. Kon-Tiki

Best Cinematography

  1. Anna Karenina (Seamus McGarvey)
  2. Django Unchained (Robert Richardson)
  3. Life of Pi (Claudio Miranda)
  4. Lincoln (Janusz Kaminski)
  5. Skyfall (Roger Deakins)

Best Film Editing

  1. Argo
  2. Life of Pi
  3. Lincoln
  4. Silver Linings Playbook
  5. Zero Dark Thirty

Best Music (Original Score)

  1. Dario Marianelli (Anna Karenina)
  2. Alexandre Desplat (Argo)
  3. Mychael Danna (Life of Pi)
  4. John Williams (Lincoln)
  5. Thomas Newman (Skyfall)

Best Music (Original Song)

  1. “Before My Time” from Chasing Ice
  2. “Pi’s Lullaby” from Life of Pi
  3. “Suddenly” from Les Misérables
  4. “Everybody Needs a Best Friend” from Ted
  5. “Skyfall” from Skyfall

Best Sound Mixing

  1. Argo
  2. Les Misérables
  3. Life of Pi
  4. Lincoln
  5. Skyfall

Best Sound Editing

  1. Argo
  2. Django Unchained
  3. Life of Pi
  4. Skyfall
  5. Zero Dark Thirty

Best Production Design

  1. Anna Karenina
  2. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
  3. Les Misérables
  4. Life of Pi
  5. Lincoln

Best Visual Effects

  1. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
  2. Life of Pi
  3. Marvel’s The Avengers
  4. Prometheus
  5. Snow White and the Huntsman

Best Costumes

  1. Anna Karenina
  2. Les Misérables
  3. Lincoln
  4. Mirror Mirror
  5. Snow White and the Huntsman

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

  1. Hitchcock
  2. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
  3. Les Misérables

Best Documentary Short Subject

  1. Inocente
  2. Kings Point
  3. Mondays at Racine
  4. Open Heart
  5. Redemption

Best Short Film (Animated)

  1. Adam and Dog
  2. Fresh Guacamole
  3. Head over Heels
  4. Maggie Simpson in “The Longest Daycare”
  5. Paperman

Best Short Film (Live Action)

  1. Asad
  2. Buzkashi Boys
  3. Curfew
  4. Death of a Shadow (Dood van een Schaduw)
  5. Henry