2013 Oscar Winners & Losers

Sadly, I wasn’t able to host an Oscar live-blog this year. However, I still watched the ceremony. This year, ‘Argo’ ultimately triumphed as the Best Picture winner, at least in the eyes of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. The rest of the race’s results and some commentary can be found after the page break.

Best Supporting Actor


  • Alan Arkin, ‘Argo’
  • Robert De Niro, ‘Silver Linings Playbook’
  • Philip Seymour Hoffman, ‘The Master’
  • Tommy Lee Jones, ‘Lincoln’
  • Christoph Waltz, ‘Django Unchained’

Winner: Christoph Waltz

Josh predicted: Tommy Lee Jones
Mrs. Z predicted: Robert De Niro

The evening started off with the strangest win of the night. Of all the nominees, Waltz was the one I would have said stood no chance of winning, given that he just won the same award a couple years ago for Tarantino’s last movie. The other nominees must have split the votes between them. I guess this means that Waltz will be in every movie Tarantino makes from now on.

Best Animated Short


  • ‘Adam and Dog’
  • ‘Fresh Guacamole’
  • ‘Head Over Heels’
  • ‘Maggie Simpson in: The Longest Daycare’
  • ‘Paperman’

Winner: ‘Paperman’

Josh predicted: ‘Paperman’
Mrs. Z predicted: ‘Adam and Dog’

Best Animated Feature


  • ‘Brave’
  • ‘Frankenweenie’
  • ‘ParaNorman’
  • ‘The Pirates! Band of Misfits’
  • ‘Wreck-It Ralph’

Winner: ‘Brave’

Josh predicted: ‘Wreck-It Ralph’
Mrs. Z predicted: ‘Brave’

I’m very surprised by this. ‘Brave’ was not particularly well-reviewed, while ‘Wreck-It Ralph’ was. When in doubt, the Academy just gives this award to Pixar.

Best Cinematography


  • ‘Anna Karenina’, Seamus McGarvey
  • ‘Django Unchained’, Robert Richardson
  • ‘Life of Pi’, Claudio Miranda
  • ‘Lincoln’, Janusz Kaminski
  • Skyfall’, Roger Deakins

Winner: ‘Life of Pi’

Josh predicted: ‘Life of Pi’
Mrs. Z predicted: ‘Life of Pi’

As happened a few years ago with ‘Avatar’, the Academy confuses visual effects with cinematography. Deakins was robbed. How much actual photography was there in this movie?

Best Visual Effects


  • ‘The Avengers’
  • ‘The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey’
  • ‘Life of Pi’
  • ‘Prometheus’
  • ‘Snow White and the Huntsman’

Winner: ‘Life of Pi’

Josh predicted: ‘Life of Pi’
Mrs. Z predicted: ‘Life of Pi’

I hope this award helps Rhythm & Hues stay in business.

Best Costume Design


  • ‘Anna Karenina’
  • ‘Les Miserables’
  • ‘Lincoln’
  • ‘Mirror Mirror’
  • ‘Snow White and the Huntsman’

Winner: ‘Anna Karenina’

Josh predicted: ‘Les Miserables’
Mrs. Z predicted: ‘Anna Karenina’

Best Makeup and Hairstyling


  • ‘Hitchcock’
  • ‘The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey’
  • ‘Les Miserables’

Winner: ‘Les Miserables’

Josh predicted: ‘Les Miserables’
Mrs. Z predicted: ‘Les Miserables’

It apparently takes a lot of effort to make Anne Hathaway look like crap.

Best Live Action Short


  • ‘Asad’
  • ‘Buzkashi Boys’
  • ‘Curfew’
  • ‘Death of a Shadow’
  • ‘Henry’

Winner: ‘Curfew’

Josh predicted: ‘Curfew’
Mrs. Z predicted: ‘Death of a Shadow’

Best Documentary Short


  • ‘Inocente’
  • ‘Kings Point’
  • ‘Mondays at Racine’
  • ‘Open Heart’
  • ‘Redemption’

Winner: ‘Inocente’

Josh predicted: ‘Redemption’
Mrs. Z predicted: ‘Open Heart’

Best Documentary Feature


  • ‘5 Broken Cameras’
  • ‘The Gatekeepers’
  • ‘How to Survive a Plague’
  • ‘The Invisible War’
  • ‘Searching for Sugar Man’

Winner: ‘Searching for Sugar Man’

Josh predicted: ‘The Gatekeepers’
Mrs. Z predicted: ‘Searching for Sugar Man’

In a very rare move, the Academy gave the documentary award to a movie that played in more than one theater and some people have actually heard of.

Best Foreign Language Film


  • ‘Amour’
  • ‘War Witch’
  • ‘No’
  • ‘A Royal Affair’
  • ‘Kon-Tiki’

Winner: ‘Amour’

Josh predicted: ‘Amour’
Mrs. Z predicted: ‘Amour’

Michael Haneke took a token trophy here, because there was never any chance of his film winning Best Picture.

Best Sound Mixing


  • ‘Argo’
  • ‘Les Miserables’
  • ‘Life of Pi’
  • ‘Lincoln’
  • ‘Skyfall’

Winner: ‘Les Miserables’

Josh predicted: ‘Les Miserables’
Mrs. Z predicted: ‘Skyfall’

Best Sound Editing


  • ‘Argo’
  • ‘Django Unchained’
  • ‘Life of Pi’
  • ‘Skyfall’
  • ‘Zero Dark Thirty’

Winner: ‘Zero Dark Thirty’ and ‘Skyfall’ (tie)

Josh predicted: ‘Argo’
Mrs. Z predicted: ‘Skyfall’

A tie? Weird. Glad to see ‘Skyfall’ take a trophy here, even if I didn’t call it.

According to this page, there have been two previous ties in Oscar history, in 1932 (Wallace Beery and Frederic March for Best Actor) and 1968 (Katharine Hepburn and Barbra Streisand for Best Actress).

Best Supporting Actress


  • Amy Adams, ‘The Master’
  • Sally Field, ‘Lincoln’
  • Anne Hathaway, ‘Les Miserables’
  • Helen Hunt, ‘The Sessions’
  • Jacki Weaver, ‘Silver Linings Playbook’

Winner: Anne Hathaway

Josh predicted: Anne Hathaway
Mrs. Z predicted: Anne Hathaway

This was the one sure-fire award of the evening. Hathaway was a lock for this trophy since the moment the first trailer played in a theater. She’s won every award the industry has to give leading up to this. Which makes her faux surprise and tears when delivering the acceptance speech seem perhaps… less than genuine.

Best Editing


  • ‘Argo’
  • ‘Life of Pi’
  • ‘Lincoln’
  • ‘Silver Linings Playbook’
  • ‘Zero Dark Thirty’

Winner: ‘Argo’

Josh predicted: ‘Argo’
Mrs. Z predicted: ‘Life of Pi’

Best Production Design


  • ‘Anna Karenina’
  • ‘The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey’
  • ‘Les Miserables’
  • ‘Life of Pi’
  • ‘Lincoln’

Winner: ‘Lincoln’

Josh predicted: ‘Les Miserables’
Mrs. Z predicted: ‘Life of Pi’

Best Musical Score


  • ‘Anna Karenina’, Dario Marianelli
  • ‘Argo’, Alexandre Desplat
  • ‘Life of Pi’, Mychael Danna
  • ‘Lincoln’, John Williams
  • ‘Skyfall’, Thomas Newman

Winner: ‘Life of Pi’

Josh predicted: ‘Life of Pi’
Mrs. Z predicted: ‘Lincoln’

The Academy likes “ethnic” music.

Best Original Song


  • “Before My Time,” J. Ralph for ‘Chasing Ice’
  • “Everybody Needs a Best Friend,” Seth MacFarlane & Walter Murphy for ‘Ted’
  • “Pi’s Lullaby,” Mychael Danna & Bombay Jayshree for ‘Life of Pi’
  • “Skyfall,” Adele & Paul Epworth for ‘Skyfall’
  • “Suddenly,” Alain Boublil, Claude-Micheel Schonberg & Herbert Kretzmer for ‘Les Miserables’

Winner: ‘Skyfall’

Josh predicted: ‘Skyfall’
Mrs. Z predicted: ‘Skyfall’

Scarlett Johansson sang that “Before My Time” song. (Didn’t get nominated, though. The trophy goes to the songwriters.) You’d think they’d trot her out to perform at the ceremony. I’d never even heard of the movie before.

Best Adapted Screenplay


  • ‘Argo’, Chris Terrio
  • ‘Beasts of the Southern Wild’, Lucy Alibar & Behn Zeitlin
  • ‘Life of Pi’, David Magee
  • ‘Lincoln’, Tony Kushner
  • ‘Silver Linings Playbook’, David O. Russell

Winner: ‘Argo’

Josh predicted: ‘Lincoln’
Mrs. Z predicted: ‘Silver Linings Playbook’

Best Original Screenplay


  • ‘Amour’, Michael Haneke
  • ‘Django Unchained’, Quentin Tarantino
  • ‘Flight’, John Gatins
  • ‘Moonrise Kingdom’, Wes Anderson & Roman Coppola
  • ‘Zero Dark Thirty’, Mark Boal

Winner: ‘Django Unchained’

Josh predicted: ‘Moonrise Kingdom’
Mrs. Z predicted: ‘Amour’

Best Director


  • Michael Haneke, ‘Amour’
  • Ang Lee, ‘Life of Pi’
  • David O. Russell, ‘Silver Linings Playbook’
  • Steven Spielberg, ‘Lincoln’
  • Behn Zeitlin, ‘Beasts of the Southern Wild’

Winner: Ang Lee

Josh predicted: Steven Spielberg
Mrs. Z predicted: Steven Spielberg

Well, that was unexpected.

Best Actress


  • Jessica Chastain, ‘Zero Dark Thirty’
  • Jennifer Lawrence, ‘Silver Linings Playbook’
  • Emmanuelle Riva, ‘Amour’
  • Quvenzhane Wallis, ‘Beasts of the Southern Wild’
  • Naomi Watts, ‘The Impossible’

Winner: Jennifer Lawrence

Josh predicted: Jessica Chastain
Mrs. Z predicted: Jennifer Lawrence

Quvenzhane Wallis was up way past her bed time for this, but she’s totally adorable.

Jennifer Lawrence fell on her face while walking up the stairs to the stage. Her speech felt a lot more genuine than Hathaway’s

Best Actor


  • Bradley Cooper, ‘Silver Linings Playbook’
  • Daniel Day-Lewis, ‘Lincoln’
  • Hugh Jackman, ‘Les Miserables’
  • Joaquin Phoenix, ‘The Master’
  • Denzel Washington: ‘Flight’

Winner: Daniel Day-Lewis

Josh predicted: Hugh Jackman.
Mrs. Z predicted: Daniel Day-Lewis

I voted for Jackman because Day-Lewis and Washington already had two Oscars apiece, while neither Cooper nor Phoenix were ever serious contenders for this prize. The Academy likes Jackman (he’s hosted the ceremony before) and has been waiting for an excuse to give him an Oscar.

However, as soon as three-time winner Meryl Streep stepped out on stage to present the award, it was an obvious sign that Day-Lewis would score his third as well. Streep didn’t even bother to open the envelope, and she called out his name with no sense of discovery or surprise.

Day-Lewis’ joke about swapping roles with Streep in ‘The Iron Lady’ and ‘Lincoln’ was the line of the evening.

Best Picture


  • ‘Amour’
  • ‘Argo’
  • ‘Beasts of the Southern Wild’
  • ‘Django Unchained’
  • ‘Les Miserables’
  • ‘Life of Pi’
  • ‘Lincoln’
  • ‘Silver Linings Playbook’
  • ‘Zero Dark Thirty

Winner: ‘Argo’

Josh predicted: ‘Lincoln’
Mrs. Z predicted: ‘Argo’

Michelle Obama was video conferenced in to give a speech and announce the Best Picture winner. That sure seemed like a sign to me that ‘Lincoln’ would claim the big prize. Not so much, apparently. ‘Lincoln’ felt like the safest pick, but I guess it couldn’t stop the momentum for ‘Argo’.

Random Notes

Seth MacFarlane’s opening monologue felt like he was auditioning to host a talk show. Funny joke about Ben Affleck, though.

The bit with Shatner as Captain Kirk was really lame and went on forever, though the “We Saw Your Boobs” song and sock puppet re-enactment of ‘Flight’ had their moments. Sadly, those were followed up with dull singing and dancing.

It took half an hour to give out the first award.

Paul Rudd and Melissa McCarthy’s bit about animation voiceovers wasn’t even the slightest bit funny.

Having the Best Picture nominees presented three at a time felt very awkward, and didn’t do much to speed up the pace of the ceremony.

Cinematography winner Claudio Miranda has some crazy hair, and delivered an even crazier speech. I wonder what he was on?

The ‘Avengers’ cast reunion – also not the slightest bit funny.

Playing off the winners whose speeches ran too long to the ‘Jaws’ theme music was pretty awesome.

The volume of the commercials during the telecast was about ten times the volume of the ceremony, at least that’s how it was broadcast here in Boston. Doesn’t the CALM Act make that illegal now?

They let Halle Berry, star of one of the worst Bond films, present the tribute to the James Bond franchise? Ridiculous. Bringing Shirley Bassey out to sing “Goldfinger” was classy, even if her voice hasn’t entirely held up (and she’s had way too much work done on her face). How the hell old is she? That movie was almost 50 years ago. (Google says she’s 76.)

The orchestra performed from another building across town? That’s just odd.

John Travolta presented a tribute to great Hollywood musicals, which are apparently limited to ‘Chicago’, ‘Dreamgirls’ and ‘Les Mis’, and nothing else. I’d rather hear what Travolta has to say about ‘The Master’, personally. The musical thing was another lame time-waster.

Something was off about Adele’s performance of the ‘Skyfall’ theme. Her voice was drowned out by the band, and she didn’t seem into what she was doing.

Juxtaposing ‘Django Unchained’ and ‘Amour’ in the same montage – because these are two movies that have so much in common. Great job, Academy!

Kristen Stewart looked strung out.

The “In Memoriam” montage almost got cut off by a stupid Apple commercial, which would have been unforgivable. Babs came out to sing a tribute to Marvin Hamlisch. I suppose I can forgive that part.

The man whose claim to fame is making ‘Smokey and the Bandit’ and ‘The Cannonball Run’ gets an honorary Oscar. Huh.

The commercial for ABC’s new celebrity diving competition show ‘Splash’ looks like the dumbest thing in the history of television. And yes, I’m fully aware that this is the network that gives us ‘The Bachelor’.

The ceremony this year was officially scheduled to run until 11:30 PM EST. At 11:15, there were still six categories left to go. Yup, typical Oscar efficiency.

I was indifferent to the “Unicorn Apocalypse” running commercial gag, but the one with Tim Burton was kind of great.

When all was said and done, the show ended about 35 minutes late. That’s better than I expected, but still annoying.

Overall, MacFarlane didn’t embarrass himself too badly as host, and fortunately didn’t pull out the Stewie Griffin voice, but nor was he able to revive the ceremony from the doldrums and bloat that inevitably set in year after year.

Final tally:
Mrs. Z – 13
Josh – 11

She always beats me, but at least we were pretty close this year.


  1. Is Ang Lee the first foreign director with two wins? Very unexpected!

    “Anna Karenina” should have won for Best Production Design!

    Belgium lost with “Death of a Shadow”.

    What does “strung out” mean? Wiktionary.org doesn’t offer any answers.

    • Josh Zyber

      “Is Ang Lee the first foreign director with two wins?”

      Billy Wilder (Austrian) – 2 wins
      Fred Zinnemann (Austrian) – 2 wins
      Milos Forman (Czech) – 2 wins
      William Wyler (German) – 3 wins

      Depending on whether you consider British directors to be “foreign,” David Lean also won twice.

      Aside from Lean, technically all of these directors (including Ang Lee) became naturalized U.S. citizens.

  2. Shannon Nutt

    Julian…”strung out” means she looks like she was on medication (possible, since she has a leg injury) or (worst case scenario) hung over or on non-prescription “medication”…if you know what I mean.

    Hosting the Oscars is a thankless job sure to be judged harshly…given the length of the proceedings, it’s a really hard show to do. I thought Seth did a great job, with just the right mix of humor (not too harsh…well, except for that Lincoln joke!) and classy “old Hollywood” stuff. He’s probably the best host the show has had since “early” Billy Crystal (meaning not LAST year, which was awful).

  3. BambooLounge

    Haven’t delved into the post-ceremony coverage yet (aside from this blog entry), but I’m expected quite a bit of push back on the gay jokes. I thought being gay as a punchline stopped being funny after 5th grade. Then again, the guy behind Family Guy hosted, so I should’ve expected as much.

    If they weren’t hosted by Anne Hathaway and James Franco last year, this would be the worst host I can remember.

      • BambooLounge

        Guess I blocked that out seeing as I actually watched the show last year too.

        Shame they can’t get slam dunk hosts like Chris Rock, Tina Fey, Ricky Gervais, or Doogie Howser.

        It’s just been a whole lot of bad. The red carpet coverage, well, the 5 minutes I caught of it, was unbearable. Chenowith is possibly the most annoying person to ever appear at an Oscars ceremony.

        • Neil Patrick Harris should have hosted a long time ago. I hope he’s currently on some sort of unofficial Academy list of “to be hosts”.

          Aaron suggested ‘The Muppets’ as hosts last year, which would have been more than awesome.

          • BambooLounge

            I guess the Bush bashing wasn’t your thing? But, I really liked Rock since he basically did stand-up as his opening monologue. I’ll take Chris Rock stand-up over forced shmaltzy song and dance numbers any year.

  4. EM

    I usually care very little for the Oscars, Oscar predictions, and the Oscar show…but one bit of news above has me stoked: “Paperman”’s victory in the Best Animated Short category. Not only was it my favorite of the five nominees, but—far more importantly—it was my pick in a contest, and so I should soon be receiving a couple of free movie passes. A buddy made the same pick and should also be receiving the same prize. I also entered a pick for Best Live-Action Short, but my selection, “Henry”, didn’t make the cut. (Although I liked “Henry”, it wasn’t my favorite; as a favorite, I would have picked “Curfew”, and so seeing it win takes a little of the sting out.) Last year I entered similar contests for both catetgories; that time, too, I was better at picking the Best Animated Short.

  5. Mike Attebery

    Personally, I thought Daniel Day-Lewis’ joke about swapping roles with Streep was a clunker.

    Anne Hathaway less than genuine?! Never… I hope she pulls a Bullock and takes a few years off now that she’s won. I grow weary of her sweetheart act.

    MacFarlane was much better than I was expecting.

  6. RollTide1017

    I was so excited, just before the last award was given out I was thinking that it was so nice to see a Oscar broadcast that kept the Hollywood political banter away almost entirely….

    Then Mrs. Obama shoved down our throats. Made me puke. You know they’ve screwed up when who presented the best picture award is bigger news then the movie that won best picture.

    I thought Seth did a good job but, I like his humor. Who doesn’t love a song about boobs, even my wife enjoyed it!

    Disappointed that Williams didn’t win for Lincoln but, I’m so glad Skyfall didn’t win.

    Speaking of Skyfall, it should have won for best cinematography, it was a beautiful shot movie. Life of Pi is beautiful but, I think it had more to do with fx then cinematography.

    • I kept hoping Obama would have come out next to Michelle and said “Denzel didn’t win? I’m outta here!” and walked off. Now THAT would have been entertaining. 🙂

  7. Gordon Miller

    Even odder, Walz basically plays the same character, but I am guessing he won due to splitting the vote.

    Not sure what page the link goes to but it’s wrong. There were five previous ties.

    How exactly would you know whether Hathaway’s emotions were genuine or not?

    Scarlett was, and still is on Broadway, which is why she didn’t appear.

    It’s a tradition for the previous year’s winner to present the Acting Oscar to the opposite gender. Meryl won for Iron Lady last year, so how was her appearance an indication DDL won?

    Argo seemed the safest pick. A movie about how great the movies are that people who make movies get to vote on.

    Agree with most of your random notes, but disagree it was awesome to see winners played off. I would rather hear someone I don’t know get his potentially one moment in the spotlight than suffer through the horrible “comedy” bits performed by actors who barely care.

    If you think Hal Needham’s claim to fame is directing those two films, go check his IMDb page

    • Josh Zyber

      I was thinking that having a three-time winner come out to present the award was a sign that Day-Lewis would also threepeat. But you’re right, I’d forgotten that Streep won last year. For some reason, I thought that was two years ago.

      It appears that the answers.com page about Oscar ties has been updated since the night of the ceremony. It only mentioned two previously.

  8. Gordon Miller

    Letterman wasn’t awful, as Jon Stewart and other comics have attested to, but then I don’t see how Seth could be considered classy when he jokes about seeing actresses’ boobs in rape scenes.

    Seth tried to be both old school and cutting edge and the combination faltered more than succeeded. How old are Mel Gibson, bullet-through-the-brain, and Sound of Music jokes?

    The Muppets hosting makes no sense. They aren’t trying to increase the show’s ages 3-10 demo and the logistics would be more work than desired.

    Mrs. Obama was an odd choice but if the sight of her makes you vomit, you sound unbelievably immature, if not something worse. It was obvious the Academy was trying to one-up the Golden Globes, who brought out Pres Clinton, not some political banter. Did the site of him make you vomit as well?