For the most part, the ceremony didn't have one last final shocker: many of the more high profile results had narrowed down enough that they could be guessed (there was more than one joke during the telecast about Anne Hathaway's expected win for Best Supporting Actress). But that didn't mean there weren't a few eyebrow-raising announcements, and a few films or people who were ultimately denied a prize that many thought they'd take. Below, we've run down the snubs, upsets and surprises of this year's Oscar ceremony. As always, share your thoughts below.
The love was spread pretty widely this year (four wins for "Life of Pi," three for "Argo" and "Les Miserables," two for "Lincoln" and "Skyfall,"), but the big surprise, to us at least, was "Django Unchained." The film even getting a Best Picture nomination wasn't deemed to be a sure thing, and with five nods, it was way behind most of the other big nominees. But there was more proof that you should never undervalue Harvey Weinstein, with the film coming away with two awards, in two of the more surprising wins of the night. It's not that no one had predicted them -- the categories were two of the tougher ones -- but most predicted that Best Supporting Actor was between Robert De Niro and Tommy Lee Jones, while Mark Boal and Michael Haneke were equally likely to take the Best Original Screenplay prize. It's a real indicator that, after "Inglourious Basterds," Tarantino is now a firm favorite of the Academy, and we wonder if 'Django' might have turned out to be closer to a best Picture win than most were anticipating.
Ok, so we did call this one. But even we were a little surprised when "Brave" took the award for Best Animated Feature; the Pixar film got better notices than predecessor "Cars 2," but not by much, and in a competitive (but unexceptional) category, had several close contenders, including two others from Disney. But ultimately, it was "Brave" that they liked the most, its BAFTA win two weeks ago showing the way to its vanquishing of "Frankenweenie," "Wreck-It Ralph," "ParaNorman" and "The Pirates!" It feels to us that an intimate story aimed principally at female audiences ultimately went down better with voters than it did with the animation geeks, but the victory still raised a lot of eyebrows, and ruined a lot of people's Oscar pools.
There have only been six ties in the history of Oscar -- the statistical chances of it occurring are slim enough that it's surprising that it's happened at all. The first was in 1932, when Frederic March and Wallace Beery came within a vote of each other (which at the time meant a tie was declared) for "Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde" and "The Champ." Seventeen years later, "A Chance To Live" and "So Much For So Little" split the Best Documentary Short prize, while Katharine Hepburn and Barbara Streisand shared Best Actress in 1968 for 'The Lion In Winter" and "Funny Girl." In 1986, "Artie Shaw: Time Is All You've Got" and "Down And Out In America" both won Best Documentary, and the most recent until yesterday came in 1995, when "Franz Kafka's It's A Wonderful Life" (directed by "The Thick Of It" star Peter Capaldi) and "Trevor" tied for Best Live-Action Short. As such, it was definitely one of the big shocks of the show (even if it came for a small category, in Best Sound Editing) when "Skyfall" and "Zero Dark Thirty" came in a dead heat.
"Lincoln," The most nominated movie of them all, only took two prizes, but one of them was a surprise, coming in the shape of Best Production Design. The dusty detail of Rick Carter and Jim Erickson's work in the film was undeniably fine, but "Anna Karenina" was showier, and a BAFTA win had indicated that "Life Of Pi" could be in contention as well (also considering it did well last night in other other tech categories). So Carter and Erickson's prize certainly came as a surprise to us, as deserved as it was.