May 21, 2013
Christoph Waltz, 'Brave' win early Oscars
Austrian actor Christoph Waltz and animated movie "Brave" took home early Oscars as Seth MacFarlane mocked both himself and Hollywood's A-listers in his debut as host of the movie industry's biggest night.
In one of the closest contests going into the ceremony, the Best Supporting Actor went to Waltz for his turn as an eccentric dentist-turned-bounty-hunter in Quentin Tarantino's slavery revenge fantasy "Django Unchained."
"We participated in a hero's journey, the hero here being Quentin. You scaled the mountain because you're not afraid of it," said Waltz, who has now won two Oscars for roles in Tarantino films.
Waltz beat veterans Robert De Niro, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Alan Arkin and Tommy Lee Jones.
"Brave," the Pixar movie about a feisty Scottish princess, took home the golden statuette for Best Animated Feature.
MacFarlane opened the show with three song and dance numbers, barbed quips about some of Hollywood's biggest stars and running jokes about his own suitability to host the Academy Awards.
"I honestly cannot believe I am here. It's an honor that everyone else said 'no'," said the creator of edgy animated TV series "Family Guy".
But his biggest laugh came in a reference to director Ben Affleck's snub in the directing race for his Iran hostage thriller "Argo."
"The story was so top secret that the film's director was unknown to the Academy!" MacFarlane quipped.
Presidential drama "Lincoln" went into Sunday's three-hour plus ceremony with a leading 12 nominations, including a directing nod for double Oscar winner Steven Spielberg.
But its front-runner Best Picture status has been dented by the six-week victory streak enjoyed at other Hollywood awards by "Argo."
The thriller, once considered an underdog when Affleck was overlooked in the Oscar directing category, is now thought to have the edge.
Best Picture, the top prize, will be announced at the end of the roughly three-hour live ceremony at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood.
If "Argo" does prevail, it will be the first movie to win Best Picture without its director even getting a nomination since "Driving Miss Daisy" in 1990.
Musical "Les Miserables," comedy "Silver Linings Playbook," shipwreck tale "Life of Pi," Osama bin laden thriller "Zero Dark Thirty," slavery Western "Django Unchained," indie film "Beasts of the Southern Wild," and "Amour" round out the contenders for the best film of 2012.