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Argo, Life of Pi big winners at the Oscars

Just as Oscar host Seth MacFarlane set his sights on a variety of targets with a mixture of hits and misses, the motion picture academy spread the gold around to a varied slate of films. "Argo" won best picture as expected, along with two other prizes. But "Life of Pi" won the most awards with four, including a surprise win for director Ang Lee.

"Les Miserables" also won three Academy Awards, while "Django Unchained" and "Skyfall" each took two.

Among the winners were the front-runners throughout this lengthy awards season: best actor Daniel Day-Lewis for his deeply immersed portrayal of Abraham Lincoln in Steven Spielberg's epic "Lincoln," best actress Jennifer Lawrence as a troubled young widow in "Silver Linings Playbook" and supporting actress Anne Hathaway as the doomed prostitute Fantine in the musical "Les Miserables." Christoph Waltz was a bit of a surprise for supporting actor as a charismatic bounty hunter in Quentin Tarantino's "Django Unchained," an award he'd won just three years ago for Tarantino's "Inglorious Basterds."

The 22-year-old Lawrence, who got to show her lighter side in the oddball romance "Silver Linings Playbook" following serious roles in "Winter's Bone" and "The Hunger Games," gamely laughed at herself as she tripped on the stairs en route to the stage in her poufy, pale pink Dior Haute Couture gown. Backstage in the press room, when a reporter asked what she was thinking, she responded: "A bad word that I can't say that starts with 'F.'" Keeping journalists in hysterics, she explained, "I'm sorry. I did a shot before I ... sorry."

That's the kind of raunchiness MacFarlane himself seemed to be aiming for as host while also balancing the more traditional demands of the job. There was a ton of singing and dancing during the three-and-half-hour broadcast — no surprise from the musically minded creator of the animated series "Family Guy" — including a poignant performance from Barbra Streisand of "The Way We Were," written by the late Marvin Hamlisch, during the memorial montage. But MacFarlane also tried to keep the humor edgy with shots at Mel Gibson, George Clooney, Chris Brown and Rihanna.

An extended bit in which William Shatner came back from the future as his "Star Trek" character, Capt. James T. Kirk, had its moments while a joke about the drama "Flight" being restaged entirely with sock puppets was a scream. A John Wilkes Booth gag in reference to "Lincoln" was a bit of a groaner, perhaps intentionally, while MacFarlane relied on his alter ego, the cuddly teddy bear from his directorial debut "Ted," to make a crack about a post-Oscar orgy at Jack Nicholson's house. (MacFarlane already has indicated he's one-and-done with Academy Awards hosting.)

But it was Day-Lewis who came up with the kind of pop-culture riffing that's MacFarlane's specialty. In accepting his record third best-actor award from presenter Meryl Streep, he deadpanned that before they'd swapped roles, he originally was set to play Margaret Thatcher "and Meryl was Steven's first choice for 'Lincoln,' and I'd like to see that version."

Besides best picture, "Argo" won for Chris Terrio's adapted screenplay and for William Goldenberg's film editing. Affleck famously (and strangely) wasn't included in the best-director category for his thrilling and surprisingly funny depiction of a daring rescue during the 1979 Iranian hostage crisis. But as a producer on the film alongside George Clooney and Grant Heslov, he got to take home the top prize of the night.

"I never thought I'd be back here, and I am because of so many of you in this academy," said Affleck, who shared a screenplay Oscar with pal Matt Damon 15 years earlier for their breakout film "Good Will Hunting."

Among the wisdom he's acquired since then: "You can't hold grudges — it's hard but you can't hold grudges."

Lee, who previously won best director in 2006 for "Brokeback Mountain" (which also didn't win best picture), was typically low-key and self-deprecating in victory. His "Life of Pi" is a fable set in glorious 3-D, but Spielberg looked like the favorite for "Lincoln." The film also won for its cinematography, original score and visual effects.

"Thank you, movie god," the Taiwanese director said on stage. Later, he thanked his agents and said: "I have to do that," with a little shrug and a smile.

"Les Miserables" also won for sound mixing and makeup and hairstyling. The other Oscar for "Django Unchained" came for Tarantino's original screenplay. Asked about his international appeal backstage, Tarantino was enthusiastic as usual in saying: "I'm an American, and a filmmaker, but I make movies for the planet Earth."

Speaking of global hits, the James Bond action thriller "Skyfall" won for its original song by the unstoppable Adele (with Paul Epworth). It also tied for sound editing with "Zero Dark Thirty," the only win of the night for Kathryn Bigelow's detailed saga about the hunt for Osama bin Laden.

Among the other winners, "Searching for Sugar Man," about a forgotten musician's rediscovery, took the prize for best documentary feature. Pixar's fairy tale "Brave" won best animated feature.

One of the biggest moments of the night came at the end, as First Lady Michelle Obama announced the winner of the best picture prize. Backstage, Affleck described how surreal it was when he heard her say the word: "Argo."

"I was sort of hallucinating when that was happening," he explained. "In the course of a hallucination it doesn't seem that odd: 'Oh look, a purple elephant. Oh look, Michelle Obama.'"

See  the complete list below.

1. Supporting Actor: Christoph Waltz

2. Animated Short Film: "Paper Man"

3. Animated Feature Film: "Brave"

4. Cinematography: Claudio Miranda for "Life of Pi"

5. Visual Effects: "Life of Pi"

6. Costume Design: "Anna Karenina"

7. Makeup and Hairstyling: "Les Miserables"

8. Live Action Short Film: "Curfew"

9. Documentary Short Subject: "Innocente"

10. Documentary Feature: "Searching for Sugar Man"

11. Foreign Language Film: "Amour"

12. Sound Mixing: "Les Miserables

13. Sound Editing: "Zero Dark Thirty" and "Skyfall" (A tie)

14. Supporting Actress: Anne Hathaway

15. Film Editing: "Argo"

16. Production Design: "Lincoln"

17. Original Score: "Life of Pi"

18. Original Song: "Skyfall"

19. Adapted Screenplay: Chris Terrio for "Argo"

20. Original Screenplay: Quentin Tarantion for "Django Unchained"

21. Directing: Ang Lee

22. Actress: Jennifer Lawrence

23. Actor: Daniel Day-Lewis

24. Best Picture: "Argo"

 

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  • Almost everywhere I went this weekend and ran into someone I knew, there was one question asked by just about everyone – whether it was at the pool, on the golf course, or grilling burgers in my back yard – “Will the Republicans get their health care bill through the Senate this week?” Let’s take a look at what the GOP has to do to get that bill approved. 1. A test for the Senate Majority Leader.  The hamburgers had barely touched the grill on Sunday evening, when my father – a veteran of many legislative showdowns on Capitol Hill – asked whether I thought the GOP could get the health bill approved in the Senate by the end of the week. My answer is much like where we were with the House bill at the beginning of May – I can see the GOP passing this by the narrowest of margins, and I can also envision the bill getting delayed because of concerns among GOP Senators.  Remember, the House had a couple of false starts before finally mustering a majority for the Republican health plan. Senate Republicans face key week as more lawmakers waver in support for health-care bill — devcode88 (@devcode88) June 26, 2017 2. President Trump warming in the bullpen.  Just like he did when he cajoled reluctant Republicans in the House to get on board with a GOP health care plan, the White House has already had the President reaching out to GOP conservatives who aren’t quite sure they really want to vote for this overhaul of the Obama health law. Over the weekend, the President again made clear – that despite concerns over individual provisions in the bill, and how it might change health insurance options in the individual market – this is better than the current Obamacare situation. Expect to hear that argument a lot more this week from the White House. I cannot imagine that these very fine Republican Senators would allow the American people to suffer a broken ObamaCare any longer! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 24, 2017 3. There really is no role for Democrats. Just like in 2009 and 2010 as the Obama health law made its way through the House and Senate – when Republicans did not have the votes to leave their imprint on the bill – Democrats are simply on the sidelines, as they lob verbal grenades at the GOP on an hourly basis. It’s important to remember this week that Republicans have almost no margin for error, as just three GOP Senators could tip the balance of this debate if they refuse to back the Republican health bill. All Democrats can do is watch from the sidelines, and hope they have an impact. We got the Senate bill text on Thursday. This bill would overhaul our entire health care system but the GOP wants to vote next Thursday! — Dick Durbin (@DickDurbin) June 25, 2017 4. Have you read the bill? Why not? The GOP health bill is just 142 pages long – but even if you sit down to read it, I guarantee that most of you won’t be able to figure out what it says. Why? Well, that’s because it is basically an amendment to the underlying Obama health law, and if you don’t have that language on hand, you won’t really know what the Republicans are trying to change, and how. The original Affordable Care Act was well over 2,000 pages long – and the reason that this GOP bill is so short is simple – it just amends the Obama health law – this is not “repeal and replace” by any measure. Because it leaves most of Obamacare in place. https://t.co/8lnG9385JU — Bill Kristol (@BillKristol) June 25, 2017 5. The GOP Senators who might vote ‘No.’ If I had to list a group of Republicans to watch, my morning line would look this way: I WILL SAY THIS SENATOR IS OPPOSED TO THE BILL 1) Rand Paul – most likely to vote “No” at this point 2) Dean Heller – Nevada Senator said on Friday that there must be changes POSSIBLE NO VOTE 3) Mike Lee – said this weekend he thinks the bill doesn’t significantly reform health care. But I still wonder if he gets to “Yes” with some late changes. 4) Susan Collins – CBO report is important, plus Planned Parenthood. Still not sure she votes “No.” 5) Lisa Murkowski – Planned Parenthood & bill details important. Important one to watch. CONSERVATIVES ON THE FENCE 6) Ted Cruz – Yes, I know Cruz has said he has concerns. So did the Freedom Caucus in the House, but most of them ended up voting for the bill. 7) Ron Johnson – Same thought for the Wisconsin Republican as Cruz. Can’t see either of them being the 51st vote against the bill. 8) Bill Cassidy – No matter what he said to Jimmy Kimmel, I still think it is unlikely that Cassidy votes against the Senate bill. But we’ll see. Latest whip count on #SenateHealthCareBill: 45 yea 55 nay @GOP opposed: Paul, Cruz, Lee, Heller, Johnson, Cassidy, Collins. — KOMO Newsradio (@komonewsradio) June 25, 2017 Clearly, the GOP leadership – and the White House – has some legislative arm twisting to do in coming days. If this plan stays on track, it could well be voted through on Thursday or Friday.  And if that happens, I wouldn’t rule out the GOP thinking about bringing it right to the floor of the House for a final vote. But we’ll see if we actually get that far.  Stay tuned.  It will be a very interesting week in the halls of Congress.  
  • If you have outdoor plans for today, there will be no need to keep your eyes on the sky. National Weather Service Meteorologist Mark Plate says conditions will remain pleasant throughout the day in the Tulsa area. “It should still be a pretty nice day,” Plate said.  “Partly cloud skies, with the high temperature in the upper 80s.  Relatively low humidity values and light winds.” The low Sunday night will be around 63 degrees. We’ll see more of the same to start the work week.  NWS reports sunny skies though Wednesday and highs will remain in the upper 80s.  
  • If you’re carrying trafficking amounts of drugs, it’s probably not a good idea to drive through a police barricade.   Rufus Newsome learned that lesson the hard way Saturday night, when he reportedly drove through a barricade at the Tulsa officer-involved shooting scene.  This happened around 9:35 p.m., near 3rd and Garnett.  Police say Newsome was driving at a high-rate of the speed after passing the barricade and could have hit multiple pedestrians.  Eventually, he stopped and tried his luck on foot.   “Caught the suspect and the suspect resisted by pulling his hands away,” police said.  “As he was in custody, he spit two times on (officer’s name redacted).” Officers recovered a trafficking amount of cocaine base.   Newsome has been booked into the Tulsa County Jail.  
  • A suspect is dead, following an officer-involved shooting Saturday night near 4th and Garnett. Tulsa police report a pursuit stopped in the area and a suspect tried to flee on foot.   KRMG’s told he ran to a home, tried to kick in the door and then reportedly pulled out a gun.  During this time, he was shot by officers.   Neighbors we spoke to were concerned because they weren't sure what had happened. “All of a sudden we heard the gunshots,” a witness said.  “We didn’t know what was going on.” So far, no names have been released. We do know the suspect was said to be riding in a stolen car. KRMG will update the story when more information comes into the newsroom.
  • Responding to concerns about personal security for lawmakers after last week’s gun attack at a Congressional baseball practice, U.S. House leaders are moving to provide extra money to members for protection back home, as well as new funding to bolster the work of police and security officials on Capitol Hill. Under a plan approved by a House spending subcommittee on Friday, the Congress would provide an extra $7.5 million next year to the Capitol Police for an “increased security posture” around the Capitol, along with $5 million to the House Sergeant at Arms to help with security for lawmakers back in their districts. “We are taking a new fresh look at security,” said Rep. Kevin Yoder (R-KS), the Chairman of subcommittee that deals with funding for the Legislative Branch. Our FY18 Legislative Branch funding bill increases efficiency & transparency in Congress, enhances security for Members & our constituents. pic.twitter.com/FI36tF2XeH — Rep. Kevin Yoder (@RepKevinYoder) June 22, 2017 “The tragic events of June 14 weigh heavily on these deliberations,” said Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ), the Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, which could vote on the extra money as early as this next week. Also being put into motion is a separate plan to funnel an extra $25,000 to each member of the House – about $11 million in all – to help them increase security back in their districts. “The scariest part for us is there used to be this impression by the public that we all had security everywhere we went,” said Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH). “Now, everyone knows that isn’t the case,” Ryan added, as he lent his support to the extra funding for security as well. The money in this budget bill would not take effect until the new fiscal year – which starts October 1 – so, House leaders are ready to okay extra money immediately for members worried about security back in their districts. Roll Call newspaper reported that could be approved in coming days by the House Administration Committee. Yoder said Congressional leaders are also waiting to see if money raised in campaign contributions for House elections could be put to use for security as well. “Pending an FEC (Federal Election Commission) decision, we’re also looking at whether campaign funds could be used to continue to support security upgrades at personal residences,” Yoder added.