Oscars 2013 Recap: Everything You Need to Know From the Academy Awards

The 85th Annual Academy Awards were dominated by Seth MacFarlane’s off-color jokes, Life of Pi’s visual splendor, and a few refreshing surprises. Ben Affleck's Argo was the big winner of the night, taking home the coveted Best Picture trophy and serving as a bit of an apology from the Academy to Affleck for not even nominating him for Best Director. In a somewhat surprising turn of events, the Academy did not award Steven Spielberg the prize for Best Director and instead gave the Oscar to Ang Lee for his direction of the film Life of Pi.

In 85 years of Academy Awards, Argo is only the fourth film to win Best Picture without a Best Director win. The other films on the list include Wings (1927), Grand Hotel (1932), and Driving Miss Daisy (1989). 

In the acting categories, the four top honors were split among four different films. Daniel Day-Lewis won Best Actor for Lincoln, Jennifer Lawrence won Best Actress for Silver Linings Playbook, Anne Hathaway unsurprisingly won the statue for Les Miserables, and Christoph Waltz won the Best Supporting Actor prize for Django Uhchained. 

Life of Pi emerged the night’s biggest winner with four Academy Awards: Best Director, Best Visual Effects, Best Original Score, and Best Cinematography. Argo and Les Miserables tied for second with three wins apiece.

Many of the night’s critics responded harshly to the heavy musical presence throughout the evening. Seth MacFarlane filled a lot of his monologue time with song and dance, Barbra Streisand sang “Memories,” Adele sang “Skyfall,” and for some reason the entire cast of Chicago was a heavy presence throughout the evening ... and of course the whole Les Mis gang hit the stage to sing a few lines, including Russell Crowe. If this was the Academy's way to get the younger audiences interested, it was a bit off the mark. 

That said, there were plenty of affecting moments that made the evening an awards show to remember. Jennifer Lawrence had a bit of a spill on her way to accept her Best Actress award, Ben Affleck got fully choked up dedicating the Best Picture honor to his children, and Ang Lee was an absolute delight during his acceptance speech.

The man sure to make the most headlines come Monday morning is Oscars host Seth MacFarlane. The Family Guy creator is already being accused of making sexist remarks throughout the evening as he walked a very fine line between slamming the nominees and pandering to them. Twitter, for its part, was not kind to MacFarlane or his jokes. He was in turn called awkward, bizarre, and offensive. Not too many smiled upon his domestic violence, Nazi, or slavery jokes.

In all, it was a full, if long, evening with a range of surprises, expected wins, and the Hollywood glitz and glam we've all come to expect.

The full list of the 2013 Oscar winners can be found here. Now it's your turn to share; what were your favorite Oscars moments? And what did you think of Seth MacFarlane?

How much do you trust the information in this article?

Elena Sheppard

Elena is the Arts & Entertainment Editor at Mic. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, Salon, Time Out New York, The New York Times Upfront, ABC News, and various travel publications. She is also a Princeton alum, a former Thailand resident, and a Brooklyn native.

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