February 25, 2013 at 12:22 AM
Critics, entertainment writers and pop culture enthusiasts alike have been tediously combing through this year’s list of nominees to fine tune their Oscar predictions. Even the most informed expert can only give, at best, an educated guess as to who will walk away with a statuette on the big night. Part of the fun of watching the Academy Awards is seeing how many ways the Academy voters can shock the entertainment industry with their picks. Here are some of the most unexpected winners of the night.
Best Supporting Actor: Christoph Waltz - “Django Unchained”
Now a perfect two-for-two as an Oscar nominee, Christoph Waltz can hardly be categorized as an underdog. However, the slight favorites coming into tonight were Robert De Niro for "Silver Linings Playbook” and Tommy Lee Jones for “Lincoln," both of who would have been worthy recipients. As arguably the most talented and distinguished group of nominees, the supporting actor category really could have gone any way, though. On the heels of a spectacular turn as host on Saturday Night Live, this has been a true breakout week for the seasoned Austrian actor. Waltz’s win almost makes up for the fact that his co-star Leonardo DiCaprio was completely shut out of this category. Almost.
Sound editing: “Skyfall” and “Zero Dark Thirty” Tie
For just the sixth time in the 85-year Academy Award history, two separate nominees – or groups of nominees – took home an award in the same category, according to the Los AngelesTimes. Per Hallberg and Karen Baker Landers for “Skyfall” and Paul N.J. Ottosson for “Zero Dark Thirty” each walked away the award, much to the surprise of presenter Mark Wahlberg.
Best Picture: “Argo”
Although “Argo” was arguably the favorite coming into tonight, it is still surprising that Ben Affleck, who was snubbed in the Best Director category, still managed to snag an award. In perhaps the most surprising moment of the night, First Lady Michelle Obama, via a live stream, announced the Best Picture award. With politically focused films like “Zero Dark Thirty” and “Argo” among the nominees, it was fitting to have the First Lady present the award and she provided a nice break from Jack Nicholson, who helped to present the award, and his incoherent muttering.
Bonus surprise: Daniel Radcliffe’s cameo in Seth MacFarlane’sopening monologue.
Now that the Harry Potter franchise has come to an end and Radcliffe has moved on to independent films and series, it is nice to see the boy who played “The Boy Who Lived” on prime time TV again. Radcliffe gets extra bonus points for holding his own while singing and dancing between MacFarlane and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, both of whom have a solid six inches on the charmingly short actor.