Ang Lee wins Oscar for Best Director

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"Life of Pi" director Ang Lee (back right) attends the 85th Academy Awards on Sunday, February 24, 2013, in Hollywood, California. Lee won Best Director for "Life of Pi."

Ang Lee, director of "Life of Pi," won the Oscar for Best Director Sunday night at the 85th Academy Awards. In true sharing-the-wealth mode, Oscar voters spread honors among a range of films, with "Argo" winning three trophies including Best Picture, but "Life of Pi" still leading with four.

"Life of Pi" was nominated for 11 Oscars - including Best Picture. Starring newcomer Suraj Sharma, the film was lauded by critics for Lee's ability to bring the complex book to life.

"Thank you movie god," Lee said to a big laugh from the audience. "I really need to share this with all 3,000 - everybody who worked with me on 'Life of Pi'."

Lee, 58, won his first Academy Award in 2006 for directing "Brokeback Mountain," the story of a complex love affair between two men.

Lee won in a year in which the director's race was one of the most controversial for its exclusions, most notably Ben Affleck, the director of "Argo" who picked up the top award from his peers at the Directors Guild and a slew of other awards.

"I really want to thank you for believing this story and sharing this incredible journey with me," Lee said.

"Life of Pi" is an adventurous tale featuring a young man named Pi, who is the son of zookeepers in Pondicherry, India,who finds the world as he knows it swept away when his family sells their zoo and sets sail for Canada with a handful of its remaining animals. When a storm capsizes the ship, only Pi escapes and is set adrift in a lifeboat that also serves as a refuge for one enormous Bengal tiger.

Coming from China's Taiwan, the 59-year-old Lee won the Oscar Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 2001 for "“Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" and got another Oscar award for Best Director in 2005 for "Brokeback Mountain." He is the first person of Asian descent to win the Oscar for Best Director.

"Life of Pi" also won for Mychael Danna's multicultural musical score that blends Indian and Western instruments and influences, plus cinematography and visual effects.

Ben Affleck poses with his award for best picture for "Argo" during the Oscars at the Dolby Theatre on Sunday Feb. 24, 2013, in Los Angeles.  

"Argo" won the Oscar Award for Best Picture, together with Awards for Best Film Editing and Adapted Screenplay Writing.

The film by Grant Heslov, Ben Affleck and George Clooney, featured a joint action of Hollywood, CIA and Canada in a rescue mission when six Americans took refuge in the Canadian embassy in Tehran during the 1979 hostage crisis.

The film succeeded eight other nominated films to win the golden statutte.

Other films nominated for the award are "Amour" by Margaret Menegoz, Stefan Arndt, Veit Heiduschka and Michael Katz, "Beasts of the Southern Wild" by Dan Janvey, Josh Penn and Michael Gottwald, "Django Unchained" by Stacey Sher, Reginald Hudlin and Pilar Savone, "Les Miserables" by Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Debra Hayward and Cameron Mackintosh, "Life of Pi" by Gil Netter, Ang Lee and David Womark, "Lincoln" by Steven Spielberg and Kathleen Kennedy, "Silver Linings Playbook" by Donna Gigliotti, Bruce Cohen and Jonathan Gordon, and "Zero Dark Thirty" by Mark Boal, Kathryn Bigelow and Megan Ellison.

Jennifer Lawrence takes a fall on her way to the stage, tripping on the steps at the 85th Academy Awards on Sunday, February 24, 2013, in Hollywood, California.

Jennifer Lawrence, who stars in "Silver Linings Playbook," won the Oscar for Best Actress, while Daniel Day-Lewis, who stars in "Lincoln," won Best Actor Sunday night.

Lawrence succeeded over Jessica Chastain who stars "Zero Dark Thirty," Emmanuelle Riva in "Amour," Quvenzhane Wallis in "Beasts of the Southern Wild," and Naomi Watts in "The Impossible," to win the goldern statutte.

In the film, Lawrence plays Tiffany, a troubled young widow who begins a complex relationship with a man recently released from a psychiatric facility.

The 22-year-old performer has won most of the major awards in the season, including the Golden Globe and the Screen Actors Guild Award.

Lawrence is the second-youngest woman to win best actress, behind Marlee Matlin, who was 21 when she won for "Children of a Lesser God." Lawrence also is the third-youngest best-actress contender ever, earning her first nomination at age 20 two years ago for her breakout role in "Winter's Bone," the film that took her from virtual unknown to one of Hollywood's most-versatile and sought-after performers.

Daniel Day-Lewis portrays Abraham Lincoln in the months prior to the president's assassination, as he works to persuade Congress to pass a Constitutional amendment that would outlaw slavery.

Day-Lewis's win was a widely expected result. The other nomineees in the Best Actor category were Bradley Cooper for "Silver Linings Playbook," Hugh Jackman for "Les Miserables," Joaquin Phoenix for "The Master" and Denzel Washington for "Flight."

Anne Hathaway went from propping up leaden sidekick James Franco at the Academy Awards to hefting a golden statue of her own with a supporting-actress Oscar win as a doomed mother-turned-prostitute in the musical "Les Miserables."

Christoph Waltz won his second supporting-actor Oscar for a Tarantino film, this time as a genteel bounty hunter in the slave-revenge saga "Django Unchained." Tarantino also won his second Oscar, for original screenplay for "Django."

"Argo" also claimed the Oscar for adapted screenplay for Chris Terrio, who worked with Affleck to create a liberally embellished story based on an article about the rescue and part of CIA operative Tony Mendez's memoir, AP reported.

The award for best foreign language production went to Austrian filmmaker Michael Haneke's old-age love story "Amour," which had been a major surprise with five nominations, including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Original Screenplay for Haneke and Best Actress for Emmanuelle Riva, who turned 86 on Sunday and would be the oldest winner ever.

The top prize winner at last year's Cannes Film Festival, "Amour" follows the agonizing story of an elderly man (Jean-Louis Trintignant) tending his wife (Riva) as she declines from age and illness.

The Scottish adventure "Brave," from Disney's Pixar Animation unit, was named best animated feature. Pixar films have won seven of the 12 Oscars since the category was added.

The upbeat musical portrait "Searching for Sugar Man" took the documentary feature prize. The film follows the quest of two South African fans to discover the fate of acclaimed but obscure singer-songwriter Sixto Rodriguez, who dropped out of sight after two albums in the 1970s and was rumored to have died a bitter death.

Pop star Adele holds her award for best song at the 85th Academy Awards on Sunday, February 24, 2013, in Hollywood, California. She performed the theme tune from James Bond's "Skyfall" at the ceremony.

There was a rare tie in one category, with the Osama bin Laden thriller "Zero Dark Thirty" and the James Bond tale "Skyfall" each winning for sound editing.

The performance-heavy Oscars also included an opening number featuring Charlize Theron and Channing Tatum, who did a classy dance while MacFarlane crooned "The Way You Look Tonight." Daniel Radcliffe and Joseph Gordon-Levitt then joined MacFarlane for an elegant musical rendition of "High Hopes."

Halle Berry introduced a tribute to the Bond franchise, in which she has co-starred, as the British super-spy celebrated his 50th anniversary on the big-screen last year with the latest adventure "Skyfall." Shirley Bassey sang her theme song to the 1960s Bond tale "Goldfinger." Later, pop star Adele performed her theme tune from "Skyfall," which won her Best Song.

Barbra Streisand injected some musical sentiment into the show's segment memorializing Hollywood figures who died in the past year as she sang "The Way We Were," the Oscar-winning song she performed for the film of the same name.

A salute to the resurgence of movie musicals in the last decade included Oscar winners Zeta-Jones performing "All That Jazz" from "Chicago," and Jennifer Hudson doing "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going" from "Dreamgirls." Hathaway and Jackman joined the cast of Best Picture contender "Les Miserables" to sing a compilation of songs from their musical.

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