Ang Lee wins Best Director Oscar for Life of Pi

Lee salutes Suraj Sharma, closes speech with ‘Namaste’.

By Deepak Chitnis

WASHINGTON, DC: On Sunday night, the Academy Awards were held in Los Angeles, California to honor the best achievements of the year in 2012. It was one of the most unpredictable ceremonies in many years, full of upsets and some pleasant surprises.

Life of Pi, a film about a young Indian boy (played by newcomer Suraj Sharma) stranded on a boat in the Pacific Ocean with a Bengal tiger, took home the awards for Best Visual Effects, Best Cinematography, Best Score, and Best Director for Ang Lee. A story about Indian characters and made by a largely Indian cast and crew, the film has been a huge financial success, earning well over $100 million in the United States box office, and over $580 million worldwide.

Best Picture of the Year went to Argo, the Ben Affleck-directed thriller about how the CIA rescued six American hostages from Tehran during the Iran Hostage crisis. Although controversially not nominated for Best Director, Affleck took home a trophy as a producer of the film, which also won Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Editing.

The most nominated film of the year, Lincoln, won only two awards: Best Actor for Daniel Day-Lewis (his third victory in the category, setting a new record), and Best Production Design. Django Unchained, the controversial film by Quentin Tarantino involving a freed slave rescuing his estranged wife from a vicious plantation owner, won Oscars for Best Original Screenplay and Best Supporting Actor (Christoph Waltz). Jennifer Lawrence won Best Actress for Silver Linings Playbook (which features Bollywood star Anupam Kher in a critical supporting role), and Anne Hathaway won Best Supporting Actress for her performance in Les Miserables.

Les Miserables also won for Best Sound Mixing and Best Makeup. Anna Karenina, an adaptation of the famed Leo Tolstoy novel, won Best Costume Design. Zero Dark Thirty, which was partially shot in Chandigarh and features some Indian actors, only won Best Sound Editing, for which it was tied with Skyfall. The latter film, which is also the twenty-third entry in the James Bond film franchise, also won Best Original Song (“Skyfall”), which Adele herself performed at the ceremony. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, despite receiving three nominations, went home empty-handed, the first time ever for a Lord of the Rings film. The Austian film Amour won Best Foreign Film, and Disney/Pixar’s Brave won Best Animated film.


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