Affleck’s ‘Argo’ wins best-picture Oscar

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Ben Affleck’s “Argo,” a film about a fake movie, has earned a very real prize: best picture at the Academy Awards.

In share-the-wealth mode, Oscar voters spread Sunday’s honors among a range of films, with “Argo” winning three trophies but “Life of Pi” leading with four.

Daniel Day-Lewis became the first person to win three best-actor Oscars, the latest coming for “Lincoln,” while “Hunger Games” star Jennifer Lawrence triumphed in Hollywood’s big games as best actress for “Silver Linings Playbook.”

Ang Lee pulled off a major upset, winning best director for the shipwreck story “Life of Pi,” taking the prize over Steven Spielberg, who had been favored for “Lincoln.” It was the second directing Oscar for Lee, who also won for “Brokeback Mountain.”

The supporting-acting prizes went to Anne Hathaway for “Les Miserables” and Christoph Waltz for “Django Unchained.” It was Waltz’s second supporting-actor Oscar in a Quentin Tarantino film after previously winning for “Inglourious Basterds.” Tarantino also earned his second Oscar, for the “Django” screenplay, a category he previously won for “Pulp Fiction.”

From the White House, first lady Michelle Obama joined Jack Nicholson to help present the final prize to “Argo.”

“I never thought I’d be back here, and I am because of so many of you in this academy,” said Affleck, who shared a screenplay Oscar with pal Matt Damon 15 years earlier for their breakout film “Good Will Hunting.”

Among the wisdom he’s acquired since then: “You can’t hold grudges _ it’s hard but you can’t hold grudges.”

Kind words for an academy that overlooked him for a directing nomination, making “Argo” just the fourth film in 85 years to win best picture when its director was not in the running.

Lawrence took a fall on her way to the stage, tripping on the steps.

“You guys are just standing up because you feel bad that I fell,” Lawrence joked as the crowd gave her a standing ovation.

At 22, Lawrence is the second-youngest woman to win best actress, behind Marlee Matlin, who was 21 when she won for “Children of a Lesser God.”

With a monumental performance as Abraham Lincoln, Day-Lewis added to the honors he earned for “My Left Foot” and “There Will Be Blood.” He’s just the sixth actor to earn three or more Oscars, tied with Meryl Streep, Jack Nicholson, Ingrid Bergman and Walter Brennan with three each, and just behind Katharine Hepburn, who won four.

“It’s funny, because three years ago, we agreed to do this swap. I had actually been committed to play Margaret Thatcher,” a role that earned Streep her third Oscar last year for “The Iron Lady,” Day-Lewis said. “And Meryl was Steven’s first choice for Lincoln. I’d like to see that version.”

On a not-so typically predictable Oscar night, given Lee’s win and Obama’s appearance, the emcee duties came off stylishly as crude-humor master Seth MacFarlane was on his best behavior _ mostly _ as host.

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