In a choked voice, Waltz offered thanks to his character and "to his
creator and the creator of his awe-inspiring world, Quentin Tarantino."
He also offered thanks to his supporting-actor competitors, who included
two-time Oscar winner Robert De Niro and Oscar recipient Tommy Lee
Jones, who had been considered a slim favorite over Waltz for the prize.
Taiwanese director Ang Lee pulled off a huge upset at the Academy Awards
with a win for the shipwreck story "Life of Pi," taking the best
director prize over Steven Spielberg, who had been favored for
"Thank you, movie god," Lee said as he accepted the award.
"Life of Pi" also won for Mychael Danna's multicultural musical score
that blends Indian and Western instruments and influences, plus
cinematography and visual effects.
"Argo" also claimed the Oscar for adapted screenplay for Chris Terrio,
who worked with Affleck to create a liberally embellished story based on
an article about the rescue and part of CIA operative Tony Mendez's
Terrio dedicated the award to Mendez, saying "33 years ago, Tony, using
nothing but his creativity and his intelligence, Tony got six people out
of a bad situation."
The foreign-language prize went to Austrian filmmaker Michael Haneke's
old-age love story "Amour," which had been a major surprise with five
nominations, including picture, director and original screenplay for
Haneke and best actress for Emmanuelle Riva, who turned 86 on Sunday and
would be the oldest acting winner ever.
"Brave," the Scottish adventure from Disney's Pixar Animation unit, was
named best animated feature. Pixar films have won seven of the 12 Oscars
since the category was added.
The upbeat musical portrait "Searching for Sugar Man" took the
documentary feature prize over a lineup of sober films that included the
AIDS chronicle "How to Survive a Plague," the military-rape critique
"The Invisible War" and the Israel-Palestine studies "5 Broken Cameras"
and "The Gatekeepers."
There was also a rare tie in one category, with the Osama bin Laden
thriller "Zero Dark Thirty" and the James Bond tale "Skyfall" each
winning for sound editing.
Host Seth MacFarlane opened
the live Oscars telecast with a monologue that poked fun at stars and
the movie industry. He offered a jab at academy voters over Ben
Affleck's snub in the best director category for best-picture favorite
"Argo," a thriller about the CIA's plot to rescue six Americans during
the Iranian hostage crisis.
"The story was so top secret that the film's director is unknown to the
academy," MacFarlane said. "They know they screwed up. Ben, it's not
William Shatner made a guest appearance as his "Star Trek" character
Capt. James Kirk, appearing on a giant screen above the stage during
MacFarlane's monologue, saying he came back in time to stop the host
from ruining the Oscars.
"Your jokes are tasteless and inappropriate, and everyone ends up hating
you," said Shatner, who revealed a headline supposedly from the next
day's newspaper with a headline reading, "Seth MacFarlane worst Oscar
The performance-heavy Oscars also included an opening number featuring
Charlize Theron and Channing Tatum, who did a classy dance while
MacFarlane crooned "The Way You Look Tonight." Daniel Radcliffe and
Joseph Gordon-Levitt then joined MacFarlane for an elegant musical
rendition of "High Hopes." There was also another musical number called
"We Saw Your Boobs," in which MacFarlane called out actresses who have
gone topless in movies.
Oscar producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron lined up a top-notch cast of
stars as presenters, including "The Avengers" co-stars Robert Downey
Jr., Samuel L. Jackson, Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo and Jeremy Renner.
They presented two prizes that went to the shipwreck tale "Life of Pi,"
cinematography and visual effects.