It was all glitz and glam for the winning Latinos who took home multiples Oscars during Hollywood’s biggest night.
Ben Affleck's "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 and Chilean cinematographer Claudio Miranda, who took home an award for best cinematography.
“This movie was quite a beast to make,” said Miranda, who won his first Oscar Sunday night after having been nominated twice for the award in the same category for the film “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.”
Besides Miranda, “Inocente” won the Oscar for best documentary short, which tells the story of a homeless undocumented immigrant teen girl from San Diego, who relentlessly chases after her lifelong dreams of becoming an artist.
The movie was directed by Sean Fine and Andrea Nix Fine.
Searching for Sugar Man, a movie about the life of singer and songwriter Rodríguez, a Latino from Detroit who became a prominent figure in South Africa during the early 70s, took home the Oscar for best documentary.
Rodriguez was called “one of the greatest singers ever” by the film’s Swedish director, Malik Bendjelloul, who accepted the Oscar.
“Rodriguez isn’t here tonight because he didn’t want to take any of the credit himself and that just about says everything about that man and his story that you'd want to know,” Simon Chinn, one of the film’s producers, said after accepting the award.
Some on Twitter were upset that Guadalupe Lupe Ontiveros was left out of the “In Memoriam” portion of Sunday night’s broadcast while lesser known artists were mentioned. Ontiveros is best known for her role in the movie Selena as Yolanda Saldivar, who killed the rising Mexican Tejano singer.
Oscar host Seth MacFarlane set his sights on a variety of targets with a mixture of hits and misses, including a jab at Academy Award-winning couple Javier Bardem and Penélope Cruz. He made fun of the two of them for their shaky English-speaking skills.
“We’ve reached the point where Javier Bardem, Salma Hayek or Penelope Cruz takes the stage and we have no idea what they’re saying but we don’t care because they’re so attractive,” MacFarlane said, drawing outrage on Twitter.
"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."
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.
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.'"
Based on reporting by the Associated Press.