LOS ANGELES (AP):
Ben Affleck's Argo, a film about a fake movie, has earned a very real prize: best picture at the Academy Awards.
In share-the-wealth mode, Oscar voters spread Sunday's honours among a range of films, with Argo winning three trophies but Life of Pi leading with four.
Daniel Day-Lewis became the first person to win three best-actor Oscars, the latest coming for Lincoln, while Hunger Games star Jennifer Lawrence triumphed in Hollywood's big games as best actress for Silver Linings Playbook.
Ang Lee pulled off a major upset, winning best director for the shipwreck story Life of Pi, taking the prize over Steven Spielberg, who had been favoured for Lincoln. It was the second directing Oscar for Lee, who also won for Brokeback Mountain.
The supporting-acting prizes went to Anne Hathaway for Les MisÚrables and Christoph Waltz for Django Unchained. It was Waltz's second supporting-actor Oscar in a Quentin Tarantino film after previously winning for Inglourious Basterds. Tarantino also earned his second Oscar, for the Django screenplay, a category he previously won for Pulp Fiction.
From the White House, first lady Michelle Obama joined Jack Nicholson to help present the final prize to Argo.
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.
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.
The foreign-language prize went to Austrian filmmaker Michael Haneke's old-age love story Amour, which tells the agonising story of an elderly man (Jean-Louis Trintignant) tending his wife (Emmanuelle 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.
documentary feature prize
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.
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.
William Shatner made a guest appearance as his Star Trek character Capt James Kirk, appearing on a giant screen above the stage during MacFarlane's monologue, saying he came back in time to stop the host from ruining the Oscars.