And — surprise! — was this also the first time that a glittery-gowned first lady was Skyped in from the White House in order to help Jack Nicholson present the top prize?
“You can’t hold grudges,” said a bearded Affleck as he accepted, in his producer role, the best picture award. “It doesn’t matter how you get knocked down again, because that’s going to happen. But you got to get back up.”
Earlier last fall, “Lincoln” was seen as presumptive top film, hoovering up 12 nominations — including a nod for director Steven Spielberg. But the snubbing of Affleck seemed to rally the voting populi around the erstwhile underdog film, whose 1970s plot was modernized by 2010s buzzwords: Benghazi. Tahrir Square. Movember moustaches.
“Lincoln” still finagled two awards, including Daniel Day-Lewis’s much anticipated third best-actor award. (His first two were for “My Left Foot” and “There Will Be Blood.”) The win made Day-Lewis the first actor to acquire three Oscars in the leading actor category, and also broke the “Spielberg Curse”: Until Sunday’s ceremony, no actor in a Spielberg film had ever won that award.
“I really don’t know how any of this happened,” he said. Oh, Mr. Lewis. You’re at your most Method-y when playing bashful.
“I had actually been committed to play Margaret Thatcher,” he deadpanned, after accepting his statue from Meryl Streep. “Meryl was Steven’s first choice for Lincoln.”
Jennifer Lawrence was also playing Meryl Streep — at least the breezy awards show version of her. “This is nuts!” she protested, after winning best actress for her portrayal of a damaged wannabe dance champion in “Silver Linings Playbook.” She remembered to wish fellow nominee Emmanuelle Riva a happy 86th birthday.
How classy those actress winners were on Sunday. Can-do, chirp-chirp Anne Hathaway took home the supporting actress award for her tremulous, bald performance in “Les Miserables” on Sunday evening’s Academy Awards ceremony. Some said she was owed it for, if nothing else, enduring the ensuing transitional haircut. Some said she was owed it for, if for nothing else, her take-one-for-the-team co-hosting duties with a somnolent James Franco two years ago.
Either way, the win was symbolic of the Hollywood as theatah theme that permeated the program — Hathaway herself representing everyone’s high school thespian president. Like me. Love my art.