The 85th Academy Awards ceremony, presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), honored the best films of 2012 and took place February 24, 2013, at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, Los Angeles beginning at 5:30 p.m. PST / 8:30 p.m. EST. During the ceremony, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences presented Academy Awards (commonly referred to as Oscars) in 24 categories. The ceremony, televised in the United States by ABC, was produced by Craig Zadan and Neil Meron and directed by Don Mischer. Actor Seth MacFarlane hosted the show for the first time. The ceremony was the first in the Academy's 85-year history to adopt the phrase "The Oscars" as the ceremony's official name during the broadcast and marketing.
In related events, the Academy held its 4th annual Governors Awards ceremony at the Grand Ballroom of the Hollywood and Highland Center on December 1, 2012. On February 9, 2013, in a ceremony at The Beverly Hills Hotel in Beverly Hills, California, the Academy Awards for Technical Achievement were presented by hosts Chris Pine and Zoe Saldana.
Life of Pi won four awards including Best Director for Ang Lee. Argo won three awards, including Best Picture, the fourth film to win an Academy Award for Best Picture without its director nominated. Other winners included Les Misérables also with three awards, Django Unchained, Lincoln, and Skyfall with two, and Amour, Anna Karenina, Brave, Curfew, Inocente, Paperman, Searching for Sugar Man, Silver Linings Playbook, and Zero Dark Thirty with one. The telecast garnered more than 40 million viewers in the United States.
Seth Woodbury MacFarlane (/ /; born October 26, 1973) is an American television producer, film-maker, actor and singer, working primarily in animation and comedy, as well as live-action and other genres. He is the creator of the TV series Family Guy (1999–2003, 2005–present), co-creator of the TV series American Dad! (2005–present) and The Cleveland Show (2009–13), and writer-director of the films Ted (2012), its sequel Ted 2 (2015), and A Million Ways to Die in the West (2014).
MacFarlane is a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design, where he studied animation. Recruited to Hollywood, he was an animator and writer for Hanna-Barbera for several television series, including Johnny Bravo, Cow and Chicken, Dexter's Laboratory, I Am Weasel, and his own Family Guy-like "prequel", Larry & Steve.
As an actor, he has made guest appearances on series, such as Gilmore Girls, The War at Home and FlashForward. In 2008, he created his own YouTube series titled Seth MacFarlane's Cavalcade of Cartoon Comedy. He won several awards for his work on Family Guy, including two Primetime Emmy Awards and an Annie Award. In 2009, he won the Webby Award for Film & Video Person of the Year. He occasionally speaks at universities and colleges throughout the United States, and he is a supporter of gay rights.
His first feature-length comedy film Ted also features MacFarlane's voice acting and performance-capture as the titular walking and talking teddy bear, and became the highest-grossing original R-rated comedy.
As a singer MacFarlane has performed at several venues, including Carnegie Hall and the Royal Albert Hall. MacFarlane has released three studio albums, in the same vein of his musical idol Frank Sinatra, beginning with Music Is Better Than Words in 2011. He wrote the lyrics for the Academy Award-nominated song "Everybody Needs a Best Friend" for Ted.
MacFarlane served as executive producer of Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey, an update of the 1980s Carl Sagan–hosted Cosmos series, hosted by Neil deGrasse Tyson. MacFarlane was instrumental in providing funding for the series, as well as securing studio support for it from other entertainment executives.
Argo is a 2012 American political thriller film directed by Ben Affleck. The film is adapted from U.S. Central Intelligence Agency operative Tony Mendez's book The Master of Disguise and Joshuah Bearman's 2007 Wired article "The Great Escape: How the CIA Used a Fake Sci-Fi Flick to Rescue Americans from Tehran." The latter deals with the "Canadian Caper," in which Mendez led the rescue of six U.S. diplomats from Tehran, Iran, during the 1979–1981 Iran hostage crisis.
The film stars Affleck as Mendez with Bryan Cranston, Alan Arkin, and John Goodman in supporting roles, and was released in North America to critical and commercial success on October 12, 2012. The film was produced by Affleck, Grant Heslov and George Clooney. The story of this rescue was also told in the 1981 television movie Escape from Iran: The Canadian Caper, directed by Lamont Johnson.
Upon release, Argo received widespread acclaim, with praise directed towards the acting (particularly Alan Arkin), Ben Affleck's direction, Terrio's screenplay, the editing, and Desplat's score. The film received seven nominations for the 85th Academy Awards and won three, for Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Film Editing. The film also earned five Golden Globe Award nominations, winning Best Motion Picture – Drama and Best Director, while being nominated for Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture for Alan Arkin. It won Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture at the 19th Screen Actors Guild Awards, with Arkin being nominated for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role. It also won Best Film, Best Editing, and Best Director at the 66th British Academy Film Awards.
While subject to the usual liberties of a movie fictionalization of actual events, Argo has been criticized for some specific inaccuracies: in particular for minimizing the role of the Canadian embassy in the rescue, for falsely showing that the Americans were turned away by the British and New Zealand embassies, and for exaggerating the danger that the group faced during events preceding their escape from the country.
Lee's earlier films, such as The Wedding Banquet, Pushing Hands, and Eat Drink Man Woman explored the relationships and conflicts between tradition and modernity, Eastern and Western. Lee also deals with repressed, hidden emotions in many of his films, including Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon; Hulk; and Brokeback Mountain. Lee's insight into the human heart has allowed his films to transcend cultural and linguistic barriers to speak to audiences all over the world.
Lee has won the Academy Award for Best Director twice: for Brokeback Mountain (2005) and for Life of Pi (2012). He also won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film for Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000). He is the first person of Asian descent to win an Oscar, Golden Globe, and BAFTA for Best Director, and is the only director to win both the Golden Bear and Golden Lion multiple times.