First Lady Michelle Obama's presentation of the award for Best Picture via satellite from the White House was viewed by some as inappropriate and politically-charged. The producers later revealed that the idea was conceived even prior to the 2012 Presidential Election, and would have invited Ann Romney if her husband had defeated President Barack Obama. Mrs. Obama is the first person without any prior association with Hollywood to present the award for Best Picture, as well as the first spouse of an American politician since Elizabeth Taylor.
Host Seth MacFarlane's repertoire was criticized by some viewers for being racist, antisemitic, homophobic and sexist (e.g. the song-and-dance tribute to female toplessness in cinema "We Saw Your Boobs"). Among the guests that evening, Steven Spielberg and Daniel Day-Lewis were both extremely offended by MacFarlane's John Wilkes Booth joke, but had agreed beforehand not to make a big deal out of it. Jane Fonda, who co-presented Best Director, later expressed similar sentiments on her blog that much of MacFarlane's humor was inappropriate for general audiences. MacFarlane tweeted two days later saying he enjoyed the experience, but that he would not want to host again.
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. 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.
After Paperman won Best Animated Short Film, the film's producer Kristina Reed began to toss paper airplanes from her balcony seat in the theater's mezzanine level. The show's security briefly extracted Reed from the Theatre for the action.
Grant Heslov: I know what you're thinking: the three sexiest producers alive. I want to thank the Academy; this is truly an honor. There are literally thousands of people to thank, so thankfully I'm not gonna thank them now. I'm going to thank everybody personally in the next few weeks, but there are a couple of people I want to acknowledge. I want to acknowledge my partner in crime and my great friend, George Clooney, who... Everybody should be so lucky to have a partner who is as talented and as humorous and who has as much integrity. So, thank you, George. I want to thank my beautiful wife Lysa; you make everything better. And to our kids, Maya and Olivia, I love you guys. I hope your old man's not embarrassing you up here. The reason I wanted to speak first – I wanted to speak before Ben – was Ben is a producer on the film and he is also our director. And I thought it would be awkward for Ben to thank himself, but it's not awkward for me. So on behalf of George and myself, I want to thank you, Ben. You directed a hell of a film. Couldn't be more proud of the film; couldn't be more proud of Ben. So ladies and gentlemen, our co-producer and the director of "Argo": Ben Affleck.
Ben Affleck: Thank you very much. Thank you very, very much. I know eventually that thing is gonna start to go, so forgive me if this is a little bit quick. I want to acknowledge Steven Spielberg, who I feel is a genius and a towering talent among us. I want to acknowledge the other eight films. There are eight great films that have every right, as much a right to be up here as we do. I want to acknowledge them and thank them for what they did, and for many of them who didn't even get nominated this year.
I want to thank, you know, I mean, Jack McNiece*, and Jerry Speck*, and Marty Brest, and my brother, and my mom and dad, and Patrick Whitesell, and Tony Mendez, who let us do his story. Thank you. And I'm gonna forget – I thank everyone in the movie, on the movie, worked on the movie, did anything with this movie, gets thanked. I want to thank Canada. I want to thank our friends in Iran living in terrible circumstances right now. I want to thank my wife – who I don't normally associate with Iran, but... I want to thank you for working on our marriage for ten Christmases. It's good. It is work but it's the best kind of work, and there's no one I'd rather work with.
And I just want to say, you know, I was here fifteen years ago or something, and, you know, I had no idea what I was doing. I stood out here in front of you all, really just a kid, and I went out, you know, and I never thought that I would be back here. And I am because of so many of you who are here tonight, because of this Academy, because of so many wonderful people who extended themselves to me when they had nothing to benefit from it in Hollywood. You know what I mean? I couldn't get 'em a job. I want to thank them and I want to thank what they taught me, which is that you have to work harder than you think you possibly can. You can't hold grudges. It's hard but you can't hold grudges. And it doesn't matter how you get knocked down in life, because that's gonna happen. All that matters is that you gotta get up. Violet, Sam and Sera, I love you; this is for you.
Daniel Day-Lewis: I really don't know how any of this happened. I do know that I've received so much more than my fair share of good fortune in my life and I'm so grateful to the Academy for this beautiful honor. It's a strange thing because three years ago, before we decided to do a straight swap, I had actually been committed to play Margaret Thatcher... and Meryl was Steven's first choice for Lincoln. And I'd like to see that version. And Steven didn't have to persuade me to play Lincoln but I had to persuade him that perhaps, if I was going to do it, that "Lincoln" shouldn't be a musical.
My fellow nominees, my equals, my betters, I'm so proud to have been included as one amongst you. When we got married sixteen years ago – or since we got married sixteen years ago – my wife Rebecca has lived with some very strange men. I mean they were strange as individuals and probably even stranger if taken as a group. But luckily she's the versatile one in the family and she's been the perfect companion to all of them. I'd like to thank Kathy Kennedy, our producer, and through you, Kathy... and through you, our mighty team of co-conspirators. At the apex of that human pyramid there are three men to whom I owe this and a great deal more: Tony Kushner; our beloved skipper Steven Spielberg; and the mysteriously beautiful mind, body and spirit of Abraham Lincoln. For my mother. Thank you so much.
Jennifer Lawrence: Thank you. You guys are just standing up because you feel bad that I fell and that's really embarrassing, but thank you. This is nuts.
Thank you to the Academy and thank you to the women this year. You were so magnificent and so inspiring, and not just those of you in my category. And it has been so amazing getting to know you. And you've been so nice and you've made this experience unforgettable. And thank you to the best producing team: Bruce, Donna, Jon. And to my team at CAA and I/D PR. And Bradley, and our entire cast – Chris, Jacki, Bob – and our crew. And my family. Happy birthday, Emmanuelle. Thank you so much. Thanks.
Ang Lee: Thank you. Thank you so much. Thank you, movie god. I really need to share this with all three thousand, everybody worked with me on "Life of Pi." I want to thank you for… I really want to thank you for believing this story and share this incredible journey with me. I need to thank Yann Martel for writing this incredible, inspiring book. Everyone at Fox, thank you for taking the leap with me, especially Tom Rothman, Jim Gianopulos and Elizabeth Gabler. My producers: Gil Netter, David Womark, David Lee.
Wonderful cast. Suraj, where are you? You're a miracle. He's playing the young "Pi," carrying the movie. Every one of you in the cast... I cannot waste this time talking about them... I really... you're the golden statue in my heart. I cannot make this movie without the help of Taiwan. We shot there. I want to thank everybody there helped us, especially the city of Taichung. My Indian crew, I love you. My Canadian crew, I love you. My family in Taiwan. My wife, Jane Lin – we'll be married thirty years this summer – I love you. My boys, Han and Mason, thank you for your support. Finally, my agent Carin Sage and lawyers Ira Schreck and Joe Dapello – I have to do that, especially for this movie. It's great to have your support. Thank you, Academy. Xie xie. Namaste.
Quentin Tarantino: That's cool, Charlize is my neighbor. Very nice to get this from you. Thank you, Mr. Hoffman.
Boy, oh boy. You know, I've been saying things like I want to thank the actors for what they've done when it comes to my script. But... it's not just an easy thing to say. It really is why I'm standing here. I actually think if people are like... knowing about my movies thirty or fifty years from now it's gonna be because of the characters that I created. And I really only got one chance to get it right. I have to cast the right people to make those characters come alive and hopefully live for a long time. And, boy, this time did I do it. Thank you so much, guys! Leo isn't over there but I'm thanking him, too. Okay, I know; I'm gettin' off, I'm gettin' off – but one last thing. I would like to say that it's such an honor to get it this year. Because I have to say, in both the original and the adapted categories, the writing is just fantastic! This will be the writers' year, man. Thank you very much. I love the competition. You guys are all wonderful. Peace out.
Chris Terrio: I want to say I share this with the other people in my category: Lucy and Benh, and David and David and Tony, brilliant Tony. Thank you for inspiring me.
Thank you, Ben Affleck. Ben, fifteen years ago you were up here with the first screenplay you got made and now you made this film that's brought me up here, and it's a gift and I can never repay it. And thank you, I love you. I want to thank Warner Bros. Everybody at Smokehouse: George, Grant, Nina. I want to thank my mom and dad, my friends who prop me up every day in all this. Josh Bearman. And I want to dedicate this to a man named Tony Mendez. Thirty-three years ago, Tony, using nothing but his creativity and his intelligence, got six people out of a very bad situation. And so I want to dedicate this to him and the Taylors and the Sheardowns and people all over the world in the U.S., in Canada, in Iran, who use creativity and intelligence to solve problems non-violently. Thank you.
Adele Adkins: Thank you so much. Thank you. This is amazing. I'd just like to thank Barbara Broccoli and Michael Wilson at Eon Productions. Sony Pictures, MGM, Paul Epworth, who – oh God... for believing in me all the time. And my man; I love you, baby.
Paul Epworth: Thanks very much. I can't really believe I'm up here to receive this. Got to thank the Academy, of course. Alison Hook at EMI, Sam Mendes, Barbara Broccoli, Michael Wilson, Liv Olach*, Neale, Rich and Laura, Empire... who else? Jonathan Rose. I thank my wife Danielle, my daughter Vivienne… I'd like to thank Joe and Matt, who worked on this with us. They spent hours and hours, late nights in the studio with us to make this piece of music. And most of all I'd like to thank Adele for being the best person I've ever worked with. She's absolutely amazing.
Adele Adkins: You're all amazing.
Mychael Danna: I share this wondrous award with our visionary captain, Mr. Ang Lee. There he is – we're playing this game again. Who guided a truly global cast and crew in the telling of this wondrous, beautiful story that transcends culture and race and religion. In the same spirit, musicians from around the globe came together to breathe life into this music and I hold this award on their behalf. I want to thank my beautiful Fox family. My mom, who's in a balcony here watching. My father, who's also watching. And most of all, my wife Aparna and our two beautiful boys, Arjun and Keshav, who remind me every day why stories like this need to be told. Thank you, everyone. Thank you, Academy. Thank you.
Rick Carter: I'm very much not prepared for this. Jim Erickson, who's the set decorator, shares this honor. And all of us who worked on this movie of "Lincoln," I think in our own ways tried to be worthy of a legacy that's way beyond all of us. Especially Steven and Kathy and Tony and Sally, but of course, Daniel, who actually convinced us that he was Lincoln. And the legacy that I think that he personified for all of us goes to our heart and it's worth far more than any gold that any of us could ever have. And I just thank you. And I love my wife, Adele.
William Goldenberg: Thank you, guys. Thank you all so much. Thank you, members of the Academy, for honoring "Argo" with this award. I really, really appreciate it. I want to thank my great crew: Brett, Joe and Paula. I want to thank Warner Bros. And I want to thank our great producers, George Clooney and Grant Heslov. And Chris Terrio, for writing an editor's dream for a screenplay. And Ben, I share this with you. You're my brother, I love you. And thank you for this. My wife Allison and my great children, Nathan and Erin, thank you so much. You made this all possible. Thanks, everybody. Thank you. Good night.
Anne Hathaway: It came true. Thank you so much to the Academy for this and for nominating me with Helen Hunt, Jacki Weaver, Amy Adams and Sally Field. I look up to you all so much and it's just been such an honor. Thank you.
There are so many people whose generosity and support is the reason that I'm standing here right now. I must thank Hugh Jackman. Hugh, you're the best. The cast, the crew, especially Simon Hayes and the sound wizards. Congratulations on tonight, you guys. The creative team behind "Les Misérables": Cameron Mackintosh, Tom Hooper; from Working Title: Eric Fellner, Tim Bevan, Debra Hayward; and from Universal: Ron Meyer, Donna Langley and Adam Fogelson. Thank you, guys, for your faith and thank you for this opportunity.
I have to thank my team, led by the lionhearted Suzan Bymel. Josh Lieberman, Mick Sullivan, Maha Dakhil… Please say I just said everyone. Josh Lieberman again, just to be safe. Stephen Huvane, Jason Sloane and special contributions by Frank Selvaggi and Kerry Wagner. I want to thank my friends, especially the ones who are cheering from Crosby Street tonight. My family, who I'm so blessed to be a part of. My husband. By far and away, the greatest moment of my life is the one when you walked into it. I love you so much.
And thank you for this. Here's hoping that someday in the not too distant future the misfortunes of "Fantine" will only be found in stories and nevermore in real life. Thank you.
Per Hallberg: Well, thank you, the Academy. This is so cool. We always wished we could work on a Bond movie and we never quite thought that was gonna happen; but it did. And we just want to thank Michael and Barbara for inviting us to the family. Then we got Sam Mendes as the director and that just made it even sweeter. We got to mix for our friends Scott and Greg, and now this.
Karen Baker Landers: And I just want to say that all the other nominees in this category, we're all storytellers; we just tell our story through sound. And this is a huge honor – it's telling me to wrap it up now. I want to thank Peter Staubli, Dino Dimuro, Chris Assells, Dan Hegeman.
Per Hallberg: Chris Hogan, Stuver, and our guys Tony and Phil.
Karen Baker Landers: Chris Jargo.
Per Hallberg: Chris Jargo, Craig Jaeger. Thank you so much.
Karen Baker Landers: Thank you.
Paul N.J. Ottosson: To the Academy, thank you. This is such an honor. Kathryn, what a fantastic movie. And my crew. I was fortunate to be here a few years ago for a movie called "Hurt Locker" and I was awarded two of these. I woke up in the morning, seven o'clock, where our son has said, "One for mommy, one for daddy." He looked at me and said, "Where's mine?" And Theo, I love you. Karen, I love you. Mom watching at home, I love you. My dad, with God now, I love you. I miss you. Good night. Thank you.
Andy Nelson: Thank you so much. What an amazing honor to receive this tonight, the night that Oscar celebrates musicals. It's fantastic. A huge thank you to Tom Hooper, our director. An amazing cast, that brought all the passion and the heart of this story to the screen; we thank you so much. Cameron, Eric, Debra, at Working Title and Universal, thank you all. And from Simon, Mark and myself, huge thank you.
Michael Haneke: Thank you very much for this honor. I have to thank Michael Barker, Tom Bernard from Sony Classics, thank you very much. Thank you to my producers. They are here, all: Margaret Menegoz, Michael Katz, Veit Heiduschka, Stefan Arndt. Thank you to my great crew. Thank you to my wife, she was member of the crew. She's supporting me since thirty years. You are the center of my life. And thank you, above all, to my both main actors, Emmanuelle Riva et Jean-Louis Trintignant, because without them I will not stay here. Thank you.
Malik Bendjelloul: Oh boy! Thank you so much. Thanks to the Academy. Very, very kind. Thanks to one of the greatest singers ever, Rodriguez. Stephen "Sugar" Segerman, Craig Bartholomew, Camilla Skagerström, SVT, SFI. All my friends and family. And Sony Classics, the best distributor on this planet. Thank you.
Simon Chinn: I also want to thank Sony Classics, Tom and Michael. I want to thank John Battsek, Andrew Ruhemann and the team at Passion Pictures, Josh Braun at Submarine. And my dear wife Lara, without whom I wouldn't be able to do any of this. Rodriguez isn't here tonight because he didn't want to take any of the credit himself, and that just about says everything about that man and his story that you'd want to know. Thank you.
Andrea Nix Fine: Thank you so much for this. We just want to thank, quickly, our amazing producer, Albie Hecht, who went the distance with us. And Susan and Yael and Ryan, and Jeff Consiglio, our incredible editor who's with us on all our, like, artistic exploits.
Sean Fine: And most of all, we want to thank this young lady who was homeless just a year ago. And now she's standing in front of all of you. And she's an artist and all of you are artists, and we feel like we need to start supporting the arts. They're dying in our communities. And all of us artists, we need to stand up and help girls like her be seen and heard. It's so important. Thank you.
Shawn Christensen: Wow. A big thank you to the Academy for supporting short films. This has been wonderful, and I only have T-minus two seconds to do this so I'm just gonna go for it. My producer in crime, Damon Russell. I love you, man. We would not be here without you, brother. My co-star, twelve-year-old co-star, Fatima Ptacek. Your performance was so incredible. Nobody even remembers I'm in the film because of you. You are incredible. Mara Kassin, Andrew Napier, thank you so much. The incredible cinematography from Daniel Katz and putting together that wonderful crew, thank you so much. All of our friends, family, crew in New York and in France. Ouat Media, Caliber Media, Verve Talent. My beautiful mother. My devilishly handsome father. And the center of my universe, my dearest Nina. Thank you. I love you all.
Lisa Westcott: Whoa. Thank you so much, the Academy. I don't know, it's quite overwhelming. I must pay a huge tribute to the team who worked so incredibly hard and were so talented, and I feel that I only own a little bit of this and the rest goes to them. Thank you very much.
Julie Dartnell: Thank you very much. It's an incredible honor. Thank you so much. And I just want to give love to my family: my mum, my dad, Tom, Holly and Dave. Thank you.
Jacqueline Durran: The irony is not lost on any of us up here that in a film whose central premise is to ask the audience what they believe is real or not real, most of what you see is, well, it's fake. That's the magic of visual effects. I want to thank Gil Netter and Elizabeth Gabler and all those at Fox and Fox 2000 for realizing that sometimes it takes a risk to make something special. And "Life of Pi" was a risk worth taking. To our director Ang Lee, you were an inspiration and you made it an incredible journey for all of us. Thank you. To David Womark, Mike Malone, and Tommy Fisher for making a wave tank that kept us from having to go out to the real ocean. And John Kilkenny, for inviting all of us to the party in the first place. To my family, for all the sacrifices they made. Gabrielle, I love you so much. To my children [music begins to play] Christopher, Thomas, Alexandra and Samantha, thank you for inspiring me every day. To my mom and dad, thank you for telling me I could do any crazy career choice I wanted. Finally, I want to thank all the artists who worked on this film for over a year, including Rhythm & Hues. Sadly Rhythm & Hues is suffering severe financial difficulties right now. I urge you all to remember...
Bill Westenhofer: The irony is not lost on any of us up here that in a film whose central premise is to ask the audience what they believe is real or not real, most of what you see is, well, it's fake. That's the magic of visual effects. I want to thank Gil Netter and Elizabeth Gabler and all those at Fox and Fox 2000 for realizing that sometimes it takes a risk to make something special. And "Life of Pi" was a risk worth taking. To our director Ang Lee, you were an inspiration and you made it an incredible journey for all of us. Thank you. To David Womark, Mike Malone, and Tommy Fisher for making a wave tank that kept us from having to go out to the real ocean. And John Kilkenny, for inviting all of us to the party in the first place. To my family, for all the sacrifices they made. Gabrielle, I love you so much. To my children [music begins to play] Christopher, Thomas, Alexandra and Samantha, thank you for inspiring me every day. To my mom and dad, thank you for telling me I could do any crazy career choice I wanted. Finally, I want to thank all the artists who worked on this film for over a year, including Rhythm & Hues. Sadly Rhythm & Hues is suffering severe financial difficulties right now. I urge you all to remember...
Claudio Miranda: Gee, wow. This movie was quite a beast to make. We did it, and the thing what I had was so much, was so many great... just that everyone just was really, totally there and supportive. I mean, I was really into, you know, Ang and the beautiful world that we... It was like one challenge. When you're a cinematographer and there's like one thing that just kind of... when you just have your eyes and you just kind of go up and up and up and up and up, and you just kind of reach this thing. Then you get really excited. There's exciting scenes for me that I love, like the candles and the things that we did that was nuts. Ah, Jesus... but it was really great. And I'd like to thank everyone that made this thing totally possible. The Academy, Fox... and oh my God I can't even speak. I know, wrap up now, the whole thing. Yeah, but I'd like to thank my wife, my daughter's up there. And... everyone, thank you so much.
Mark Andrews: I just happened to be wearing the kilt; I didn't plan any of this. I'd like to thank the Academy for this incredible honor. Making a movie has its own story. I'd like to thank John Lasseter, Ed Catmull, Jim Morris, Andrew Stanton, Pete Docter, Brenda Chapman, Katherine Sarafian for making the making of "Brave" an exceptional story. My wife and my four kids: Maeve, Jack, Paden and Ford.
Brenda Chapman: I'd like to give a shout-out to my wonderful, strong, beautiful daughter Emma, who inspired "Brave" into being. So thank you to her and my husband, and our incredible cast and crew. Thank you.
John Kahrs: Thanks to the Academy. Especially this year, they got the shorts out to all the nominees. To everyone at Disney, particularly John Lasseter, Ed Catmull and Andrew Millstein, who have just been great at revitalizing the studio. To Kristina Reed, my producer. The cast and crew. Everyone that helped on it. They made it so much better than I could ever have hoped. To my wife, the amazing Gennie Rim, and to my kids Ben and Johnny. I'll see you tonight. Bye.
Christoph Waltz: Thank you. Thank you so much. Mr. De Niro, Mr. Arkin, Mr. Hoffman and Mr. Jones: my respect. My unlimited gratitude goes to "Dr. King Schultz." That is, of course, to his creator and the creator of his awe-inspiring world – Quentin Tarantino. And I thank Jamie Foxx and Leo DiCaprio, Sam Jackson and Kerry Washington. I thank Harvey Weinstein and Amy Pascal, Stacey Sher, Reginald Hudlin and Pilar Savone. I thank Adam Schweitzer, Lisa Kasteler. And I thank my friends Jeff Dashnaw and Bill Clark who saved my neck.
We participated in a hero's journey – the hero here being Quentin. And you scaled the mountain because you're not afraid of it. You slay the dragon because you're not afraid of it. And you cross through fire because it's worth it. I borrowed my character's words. Sorry; couldn't resist. Thank you.