Malibu Seen: ‘Lincoln’ scores, ‘Argo’ soars!

Suspense, intrigue, nostalgia and good-old-fashioned fun. Those are the components that went into a successful 2013 Academy Awards presentation. Between local superstar Barbra Streisand, Bond girl Halle Berry, director Steven Spielberg and animation producer Clark Spencer, Malibu was well represented and the production was one of the best in years.

Unlike last year’s runaway favorite, “The Artist,” this year’s show had something for everyone.

Spielberg was up for a dozen awards for his historic epic “Lincoln.” The civil war extravaganza was in the lead for best picture, as well as best director, best actor for Daniel Day-Lewis as the President, best supporting actress for Sally Field as the First Lady and best supporting actor for Tommy Lee Jones. Day-Lewis made academy history with his third win as best actor and the film nailed the best production design category.

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Even so, the night belonged to Ben Affleck and his acclaimed CIA hostage drama. Appearing via satellite, First Lady Michelle Obama presented the biggest award of the night. Opening the envelope, she said the magic word, “Argo.” The film picked up steam and a slew of awards ever since director Affleck was left out of the best director mix.

In his opening bit, host Seth MacFarlane joked the film was “so secret that even the film’s director is unknown to the Academy.”

The ceremony also included a tribute to Hollywood music history, as well as the 50th anniversary of the James Bond superspy series. Beautiful Berry, who turned heads in a stunning black and metallic Versace number, made the introduction. Award-winning singer Adele belted out the theme from the latest Bond flick, “Skyfall,” and Dame Shirley Bassey performed her signature song from 1964, “Goldfinger.”

Another standout in the musical category came from the cast of “Les  Miserables” and our own Barbra Streisand who gave a magical spin to “The Way We Were.”

On the animation side, local producer Clark Spencer was up for Oscar gold for his film, “Wreck-It Ralph.” Spencer won the prestigious Producers Guild Award, but was up against some tough competition, including Tim Burton’s, “Frankenweenie,” and the heavily promoted “Paranoman.” In the end, the local animation guru lost out to “Brave,” which also snagged a Golden Globe.

Surprisingly, the biggest winner in numbers was “Life of Pi,” which took home four awards including the coveted best director trophy for Ang Lee, as well as the top prizes for visual effects, cinematography and score. “Argo” and “Les Miserables” took home three awards apiece.

As expected, hands-on favorite Anne Hathaway waltzed away with best supporting actress for her role in “Les Miz.” But few suspected Christoph Waltz to edge out Robert De Niro or Tommy Lee Jones for his role in “Django Unchained.” Twenty-two-year old

Jennifer Lawrence picked up the lead actress award for “Silver Linings Playbook.”

Surprises and suspense made the 85th Academy Awards ceremony one to remember, with six of the films nominated for best picture grossing more than $100 million at the domestic box office. Win or lose, that’s enough to put a golden smile on the face of any Hollywood exec, actor or crewmember.

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