85th Academy Awards

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85th Academy Awards
85th Academy Awards Poster.jpg
Official poster
DateFebruary 24, 2013
SiteDolby Theatre
Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, United States
HostSeth MacFarlane[1]
Pre-showJess Cagle
Kristin Chenoweth
Kelly Rowland
Lara Spencer
Robin Roberts[2]
ProducerNeil Meron
Craig Zadan[3]
DirectorDon Mischer[4]
Best PictureArgo
Most awardsLife of Pi (4)
Most nominationsLincoln (12)
TV in the United States
Duration3 hours, 35 minutes[5]
Ratings40.38 million
24.47% (Nielsen ratings)[6]
 < 84thAcademy Awards86th > 
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85th Academy Awards
85th Academy Awards Poster.jpg
Official poster
DateFebruary 24, 2013
SiteDolby Theatre
Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, United States
HostSeth MacFarlane[1]
Pre-showJess Cagle
Kristin Chenoweth
Kelly Rowland
Lara Spencer
Robin Roberts[2]
ProducerNeil Meron
Craig Zadan[3]
DirectorDon Mischer[4]
Best PictureArgo
Most awardsLife of Pi (4)
Most nominationsLincoln (12)
TV in the United States
Duration3 hours, 35 minutes[5]
Ratings40.38 million
24.47% (Nielsen ratings)[6]
 < 84thAcademy Awards86th > 

The 85th Academy Awards ceremony, presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), honored the best films of 2012 and took place February 24, 2013, at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, Los Angeles beginning at 5:30 p.m. PST / 8:30 p.m. EST. During the ceremony, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences presented Academy Awards (commonly referred to as Oscars) in 24 categories. The ceremony, televised in the United States by ABC, was produced by Craig Zadan and Neil Meron and directed by Don Mischer.[3][4] Actor Seth MacFarlane hosted the show for the first time.[7] The ceremony was the first in the Academy's 85-year history to adopt the phrase "The Oscars" as the ceremony's official name during the broadcast and marketing.[8]

In related events, the Academy held its 4th annual Governors Awards ceremony at the Grand Ballroom of the Hollywood and Highland Center on December 1, 2012.[9] On February 9, 2013, in a ceremony at The Beverly Hills Hotel in Beverly Hills, California, the Academy Awards for Technical Achievement were presented by hosts Chris Pine and Zoe Saldana.[10]

Life of Pi won four awards including Best Director for Ang Lee.[11][12] Argo won three awards, including Best Picture, the fourth film to win an Academy Award for Best Picture without its director nominated.[13] Other winners included Les Misérables also with three awards, Django Unchained, Lincoln and Skyfall with two, and Amour, Anna Karenina, Brave, Curfew, Inocente, Paperman, Searching for Sugar Man, Silver Linings Playbook, and Zero Dark Thirty with one. The telecast garnered about 40 million viewers in the United States.

Winners and nominees[edit]

The nominees for the 85th Academy Awards were announced on January 10, 2013, at 5:30 am PST (13:30 UTC) (8:30 am EST) at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills, California, by Seth MacFarlane, host of the ceremony, and actress Emma Stone.[14] Lincoln received the most nominations with twelve total, Life of Pi came in second with eleven.[15]

The winners were announced during the awards ceremony on February 24, 2013.[16] Argo was the fourth film to win Best Picture without a directing nomination. 1927's Wings, 1932's Grand Hotel, and 1989's Driving Miss Daisy previously achieved this feat.[17] As co-producer of Argo, George Clooney became the third individual to win Oscars for both acting and producing.[18] Best Director winner Ang Lee was the second person to win that category twice for helming non-Best Picture winning films.[19] Silver Linings Playbook was the fourteenth film to earn nominations in all four acting categories.[20] At age 22, Best Actress winner Jennifer Lawrence became the second-youngest winner in that category.[21] With his third win for Best Lead Actor, Daniel Day-Lewis became the first three-time winner in that aforementioned category.[22] He also was the sixth performer to win at least three acting Oscars.[23] Amour was the fourth film nominated simultaneously for Best Picture and Best Foreign Language Film in the same year.[24] At age nine, Quvenzhané Wallis became the youngest nominee for Best Actress and the youngest female acting nominee overall.[25] Meanwhile, Emmanuelle Riva (aged 85) was the oldest nominee for Best Actress.[26] Skyfall and Zero Dark Thirty's joint win in the Best Sound Editing category marked the sixth occurrence of a tie in Oscar history.[27]


An Asian male wearing a grey jacket over an unbuttoned blue shirt is standing in front of a red wall with white text.
Ang Lee, Best Director winner
Profile of a man wearing a brown and green jacket and a green hat.
Daniel Day-Lewis, Best Actor winner
A Caucasian woman is seen wearing a red dress.
Jennifer Lawrence, Best Actress winner
A dark blond haired man in a black tux and bowtie and white shirt faces forward while smiling.
Christoph Waltz, Best Supporting Actor winner
A female in her late twenties has is facing to her right with her right arm raised. She is wearing a white gown.
Anne Hathaway, Best Supporting Actress winner
A man is wearing a black coat over a black t-shirt and a black beret.
Quentin Tarantino, Best Original Screenplay winner
Headshot of a bearded, grey-haired man with glasses. He is wearing a tuxedo and a black bowtie.
Michael Haneke, Best Foreign Language Film winner
A Canadian male in his mid-fifties is seen wearing an unbuttoned, white collared shirt under a white coat.
Mychael Danna, Best Original Score winner
Black-and-white photo of a woman holding a microphone.
Adele, Best Original Song co-winner

Winners are listed first and indicated with a double-dagger (double-dagger).[28]

Best PictureBest Director
Best ActorBest Actress
Best Supporting ActorBest Supporting Actress
Best Original ScreenplayBest Adapted Screenplay
Best Animated FeatureBest Foreign Language Film
Best Documentary – FeatureBest Documentary – Short Subject
Best Live Action Short FilmBest Animated Short Film
Best Original ScoreBest Original Song
Best Sound EditingBest Sound Mixing
Best Production DesignBest Cinematography
Best Makeup and HairstylingBest Costume Design
Best Film EditingBest Visual Effects

Honorary Academy Awards[edit]

The Academy held its 4th Annual Governors Awards ceremony on December 1, 2012 during which the following awards were presented.[29][30][31]

Academy Honorary Award[edit]

Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award[edit]

Films with multiple nominations and awards[edit]

Presenters and performers[edit]

An African-American female in her late forties is seen wearing a silver dress and holding a golden envelope. Several men and women wearing black military garb are standing behind her.
First Lady Michelle Obama announces Best Picture, awarded to Argo, live from the Diplomatic Room of the White House

The following individuals, listed in order of appearance, presented awards or performed musical numbers.[5]


Fox, CederingCedering FoxAnnouncer for the 85th annual Academy Awards
Spencer, OctaviaOctavia SpencerPresenter of the award for Best Supporting Actor
McCarthy, MelissaMelissa McCarthy
Paul Rudd
Presenters of the awards for Best Animated Short Film and Best Animated Feature
Witherspoon, ReeseReese WitherspoonPresenter of the films Les Misérables, Life of Pi, and Beasts of the Southern Wild on the Best Picture segment
Downey, Jr., RobertRobert Downey, Jr.
Chris Evans
Samuel L. Jackson
Jeremy Renner
Mark Ruffalo
Presenters of the awards for Best Cinematography and Best Visual Effects
Aniston, JenniferJennifer Aniston
Channing Tatum
Presenters of the awards for Best Costume Design and Best Makeup and Hairstyling
Berry, HalleHalle BerryPresenter of the "Fifty Years of Bond" tribute and performance of "Goldfinger"
Foxx, JamieJamie Foxx
Kerry Washington
Presenters of the awards for Best Live Action Short and Best Documentary Short Subject
Neeson, LiamLiam NeesonPresenter of the films Argo, Lincoln, and Zero Dark Thirty on the Best Picture segment
Affleck, BenBen AffleckPresenter of the award for Best Documentary Feature
Chastain, JessicaJessica Chastain
Jennifer Garner
Presenters of the award for Best Foreign Language Film
Travolta, JohnJohn TravoltaPresenter of "Celebration of Musicals of the Last Decade" musical number
Pine, ChrisChris Pine
Zoe Saldana
Presenters of the segment of the Academy Awards for Technical Achievement and Gordon E. Sawyer Award
Wahlberg, MarkMark Wahlberg
Ted, the Teddy bear
Presenters of the awards for Best Sound Mixing and Best Sound Editing
Plummer, ChristopherChristopher PlummerPresenter of the award for Best Supporting Actress
Koch, HawkHawk Koch (AMPAS president)Special presentation acknowledging the creation of the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures
Bullock, SandraSandra BullockPresenter of the award for Best Film Editing
Lawrence, JenniferJennifer LawrenceIntroducer of the performance of Best Song nominee "Skyfall"
Kidman, NicoleNicole KidmanPresenter of the films Silver Linings Playbook, Django Unchained, and Amour on the Best Picture segment
Radcliffe, DanielDaniel Radcliffe
Kristen Stewart
Presenters of the award for Best Production Design
Hayek, SalmaSalma HayekPresenter of the segment of the Honorary Academy Awards and Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award
Clooney, GeorgeGeorge ClooneyPresenter of In Memoriam tribute
Gere, RichardRichard Gere
Queen Latifah
Renée Zellweger
Catherine Zeta-Jones
Introducer of the performance of Best Song nominee "Everybody Needs a Best Friend"
Presenters of the awards for Best Original Score and Best Original Song
Hoffman, DustinDustin Hoffman
Charlize Theron
Presenters of the awards for Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Original Screenplay
Douglas, MichaelMichael Douglas
Jane Fonda
Presenters of the award for Best Director
Dujardin, JeanJean DujardinPresenter of the award for Best Actress
Streep, MerylMeryl StreepPresenter of the award for Best Actor
Nicholson, JackJack Nicholson
Michelle Obama
Presenters of the award for Best Picture


Ross, WilliamWilliam RossMusical Arranger
MacFarlane, SethSeth MacFarlane
William Shatner
PerformersOpening segment
MacFarlane, SethSeth MacFarlane
Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles
Performers"We Saw Your Boobs" during the opening segment[32]
Watts, NaomiNaomi Watts
Charlize Theron
Jennifer Lawrence
CameoAppeared performing pre-taped comedic reactions to MacFarlane's "We Saw Your Boobs" skit.
MacFarlane, SethSeth MacFarlane
Channing Tatum
Charlize Theron
Performer"The Way You Look Tonight" from Swing Time
Gordon-Levitt, JosephJoseph Gordon-Levitt
Seth MacFarlene
Daniel Radcliffe
Performers"High Hopes" from A Hole in the Head
"Be Our Guest" from Beauty and the Beast
Bassey, ShirleyShirley BasseyPerformer"Goldfinger" from Goldfinger during the "Fifty Years of Bond" tribute
Zeta-Jones, CatherineCatherine Zeta-JonesPerformer"All That Jazz" from Chicago
Hudson, JenniferJennifer HudsonPerformer"And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going" from Dreamgirls
Barks, SamanthaSamantha Barks
Sacha Baron Cohen
Helena Bonham Carter
Russell Crowe
Anne Hathaway
Jennifer Hudson
Hugh Jackman
Eddie Redmayne
Amanda Seyfried
Aaron Tveit
Performers"Suddenly" and "One Day More" from Les Misérables
Adele, AdelePerformer"Skyfall" from Skyfall
Streisand, BarbraBarbra StreisandPerformer"The Way We Were" during the tribute to Marvin Hamlisch
Jones, NorahNorah JonesPerformer"Everybody Needs a Best Friend" from Ted
Chenoweth, KristinKristin Chenoweth
Seth MacFarlane
Performers"Here's To The Losers" during the closing credits

Ceremony information[edit]

Profile of a Caucasian male speaking into a microphone. He is wearing an unbuttoned black collared shirt.
Seth MacFarlane hosted the 85th Academy Awards

Due to declining interest and viewership in recent ceremonies, the Academy hired a new production team in an attempt to improve ratings and revive interest in the ceremony. Reports surfaced that Academy then-president Tom Sherak approached television producer Lorne Michaels for producing duties with actor and comedian Jimmy Fallon as host.[33] However, the telecast's broadcaster ABC objected to these selections, and both men declined afterward.[34] With newly elected Academy president Hawk Koch assuming leadership duties, the Academy hired Neil Meron and Craig Zadan in August 2012 to produce the ceremony. Two months later, the Academy announced that actor, director, cartoonist and comedian Seth MacFarlane would host the telecast.[35] In an unusual break from previous years, producers Meron and Zadan announced that the on-air telecast of the ceremony would be simply referred to as "The Oscars" instead of "The 85th Annual Academy Awards".[8]

As evident by the numerous musical numbers featured throughout the telecast, the ceremony was billed as a salute to "Music and the Movies".[36] In keeping with the theme of the evening, numerous film scores from various motion pictures were played intermittently throughout the ceremony; most notable was John Williams' theme music from Jaws, which was used to goad winners off the stage if their acceptance speeches were overly long.[37][38] Composer Williams Ross conducted the orchestra from a studio inside the nearby Capitol Records Building.[39]

Several other people were involved with the telecast and its promotion. Tony Award-winning art director Derek McLane designed a new set and stage design for the ceremony.[40] Rob Ashford served as choreographer for several musical numbers during the event.[41] Comedians Ben Gleib and Annie Greenup served as correspondents and hosts of "Oscar Road Trip", a nationwide bus tour promoting the ceremony in eleven major cities across the United States.[42] Six young film students from colleges across the country, who were selected from a contest conducted by AMPAS and MtvU, were recruited to appear onstage to deliver Oscar statuettes to the presenters during the gala.[43]

Introduction of electronic voting system[edit]

In January 2012, AMPAS announced that it would create electronic voting system starting with the 2013 ceremony as another method for members to select the nominees and winners during the process.[44] According to AMPAS Chief Operating Officer Ric Robertson, the implementation of the digital ballot was designed to increase participation among members in the voting process and to provide an alternative method of voting in case of emergency.[44] Despite several Academy officials denying such reasons, some industry insiders speculated that the introduction of electronic voting was another move toward moving future awards galas to January.[45] The deadline to submit nomination ballots was originally scheduled for January 3, but technological errors and glitches prompted the Academy to move the deadline one day later.[46]

Box office performance of nominated films[edit]

None of the nine Best Picture nominees were among the top ten releases in box office during the nominations. However, four of those films had already earned $100 million in American and Canadian ticket sales.[47] At the time of the announcement of nominations on January 10, Lincoln was the highest-grossing film among the Best Picture nominees with $144 million in domestic box office receipts. The other three films to earn $100 million prior to nominations were Django Unchained with $112 million, Argo with $110 million, and Les Misérables with $103 million. Among the five remaining Best Picture nominees, Life of Pi was the next highest-grossing film with $91.8 million followed by Silver Linings Playbook ($35.7 million), Beasts of the Southern Wild ($11.2 million), Zero Dark Thirty ($4.4 million), and finally Amour ($311,247).[A][48] The combined gross of the nine Best Picture nominees when the Oscars were announced was $620 million with an average gross of $68.9 million per film.[48]

Of the top 50 grossing movies of the year, 61 nominations went to 15 films on the list. Only Brave (8th), Wreck-It Ralph (13th), Lincoln (17th), Django Unchained (23rd), Argo (26th), Les Misérables (27th), Flight (30th), and Life of Pi (31st) were nominated for Best Picture, Best Animated Feature, or any of the directing, acting, or screenwriting awards.[49] The other top 50 box office hits that earned nominations were Marvel's The Avengers (1st), Skyfall (4th), The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (6th), Ted (13th), Snow White and the Huntsman (15th), Prometheus (20th), and Mirror Mirror (44th).[49]

Visual Effects protest[edit]

Prior to the ceremony, an estimated 400 visual effects artists staged a protest on Hollywood Boulevard. The artists were protesting what they perceived to be the mistreatment of their industry by the studio system. The event that sparked the protest occurred when Rhythm & Hues visual effects studio, whose work would win the Oscar for Life of Pi, filed for bankruptcy in the weeks before the Oscars.[50] The visual effects industry was also upset when the winners for Best Visual Effects were drowned out by the Jaws theme music and had their microphones shut off during their acceptance speech right as they began speaking about the controversy.[51]

Critical reviews[edit]

The show received a mixed reception from media publications. Some media outlets were more critical of the show. Columnist Owen Gleiberman of Entertainment Weekly commented "By calling constant attention to the naughty factor," MacFarlane created "an echo chamber of outrage, working a little too hard to top himself with faux-scandalous gags about race, Jews in Hollywood, and the killing of Abraham Lincoln."[52] The Washington Post television critic Hank Stuever bemoaned, "There was nothing notably terrible about the show, and nothing particularly enthralling." Regarding MacFarlane's performance as host, Stuever noted, "What you got was a combination of sicko and retro, an Oscar show hosted by someone who waited until Oscar night to discover that he's only so-so at stand-up comedy."[53] Television editor Alan Sepinwall of HitFix lamented that the ceremony made for a "frequently messy, but occasionally surprising and/or entertaining evening." He added that MacFarlane "had some funny moments here and there, but he missed way more than he hit, and Frat Boy Seth quickly assumed dominance as the evening went along."[54]

Other media outlets received the broadcast and more positively. Tim Goodman of The Hollywood Reporter praised MacFarlane's performance saying that he did "impressively better than one would have wagered." He also noted that he added "plenty of niceties with a little bit of the Ricky Gervais bite-the-hand-that-feeds-you thing and worked the juxtaposition rather nicely.[55] Chicago Tribune television critic Nina Metz lauded MacFarlane for keeping "a solid handle on the proceedings." She also remarked that the host "opened with a series of jokes that were bona fide winners, landing on just the right tone: confident but not cocksure".[56] Associated Press critic Frazier Moore extolled MacFarlane observing that he "seized the camera Sunday as host of ABC's Oscarcast and proved to its vast audience that he's a ridiculously versatile entertainer, a guy who can be as charming as he is famously irreverent, even polarizing."[57]

Ratings and reception[edit]

The American telecast on ABC drew in an average of 40.38 million people over its length, which was a 3% increase from the previous year's ceremony.[58] An estimated 77.92 million total viewers watched all or part of the awards.[59] The show also drew higher Nielsen ratings compared to the two previous ceremonies with 24.47% of households watching over a 35.65 share.[60] In addition, the program scored its highest key demo ratings in six years with a 13.71 rating over a 33.45 share among viewers in the 18–49 demographic.[6]

In Memoriam[edit]

The annual In Memoriam segment was presented by actor George Clooney.[61] The montage featured an excerpt of the main title from Out of Africa by composer John Barry.[62] At the end of the tribute, singer Barbra Streisand sang "The Way We Were" from the film of the same name in tribute to composer Marvin Hamlisch.[63]

See also[edit]


A^ : Both Life of Pi and Silver Linings Playbook would eventually earn over $100 million in domestic ticket sales before the ceremony on February 24.[64] Zero Dark Thirty was the number one film at the American box office during the weekend of January 11–13;[65] the movie eventually grossed $91 million prior to the awards gala.[64]


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