Argo best film, Ang Lee best director at Oscars

Ben Affleck's Iranian hostage drama 'Argo' won the Best Picture Oscar while Ang Lee pulled off a big surprise by taking home the Best Director trophy for 'Life of Pi', the story of a shipwrecked Indian boy, at the 85th Academy Awards here.

British actor Daniel Day-Lewis, 55, scored a historic third Best Actor Oscar for his role as the 16th US President Abraham Lincoln in Steven Spielberg's civil-war set drama 'Lincoln'. His previous Oscars were for 'My Left Foot' in 1989 and 'There Will Be Blood' in 2007.

22-year-old Jennifer Lawrence emerged a winner for 'Silver Linings Playbook' in a tight Best Actress race by tripping strong contenders like Jessica Chastain, Emmanuelle Riva, Naomi Watts and Quvenzhane Wallis.

'Argo' saw off tough competition from eight other films -- including 'Lincoln', 'Life of Pi', 'Amour', 'Django Unchained' and 'Zero Dark Thirty'-- to walk away with the top award.

'Argo' was declared a winner by Jack Nicholson and First Lady Michelle Obama, who tuned in through a videolink, making an unprecedented appearance from White House in a shimmery silver gown.

The film, based on real incidents, narrates the near impossible escape story when CIA pulled out six US diplomats from Iran in 1979 by posing as a fake film crew. It won three trophies -- Best picture, best adapted screenplay and best editing -- out of its seven nominations.

Lee pulled of an upset by winning the Oscar, his second, over favourite Steven Spielberg and three others with his visually stunning, India-set 3D drama. The film also scored maximum wins of four awards -- Best director, best cinematography, music (original score) and visual effects -- out of its 11 nominations.

"Thank you, movie god. I need to thank Yann Martel for writing this inspiring book," said Lee before commending his Indian cast and crew and ending his speech with 'Namaste'.

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