There were few surprises at the 85th Academy Awards Sunday night, with a majority of the winners having been triumphant throughout the awards season. Still, when first lady Michelle Obama joined the program via satellite to present the award for best picture to Argo, it marked a complete redemption run for its director and star, Ben Affleck. Obama’s appearance was kept a secret, with her presentation broadcast directly from the White House.
“The Academy Awards approached the first lady about being a part of the ceremony. As a movie lover, she was honored to present the award and celebrate the artists who inspire us all – especially our young people – with their passion, skill and imagination,” a statement from the White House read after the ceremony.
Daniel Day-Lewis and Jennifer Lawrence earned the awards for best actor and best actress, repeating victories from the SAG awards and the Golden Globes. Lawrence suffered an awkward stumble as she came to the stage to accept her award, tripping on her way up the stairs. She quickly recovered and joked with the crowd while holding her trophy.
“You guys are just standing up because you feel bad that I fell and that’s really embarrassing. But thank you,” she said.
Anne Hathaway’s victory in the supporting actress category was considered one of the sure locks during the show, and she graciously accepted the Oscar for her role of Fantine in Les Miserables. The film rendition of the classic musical earned three Oscars, besting the competition in makeup and hairstyle, and in sound mixing.
The stars of the controversial Django Unchained were present as well, as Christopher Waltz took home his second Oscar for best supporting actor, and Quentin Tarantino won for best original screenplay. Jaime Foxx and Kerry Washington joined the show as presenters, announcing the winner for best live action short film.
While accepting his trophy, Waltz praised Tarantino for his role in bringing the story to the screen.
“We participated in a hero’s journey, the hero here being Quentin,” Waltz told the Dolby Theater crowd.
Rounding out the winners in the academy’s major categories was Ang Lee, who won best director for Life of Pi. Lee previously won the best director Oscar in 2005 with Brokeback Mountain.