An unusual twist found Jack Nicholson presenting the Best Picture Oscar with the help of First Lady Michelle Obama. Nicholson, live on stage in Hollywood, and Mrs. Obama, via live video from the White House, shared the duties of handing out the biggest award of the evening. And as expected, Argo was named Best Picture at the 2013 Academy Awards.
Producers George Clooney and Grant Heslov joined producer/director/actor Ben Affleck and the cast of Argo on stage to accept the honor. Heslov spoke first: "I know what you're thinking - the three sexiest producers alive. I want to thank the Academy. This is truly an honor." Saying there were too many people to thank during the speech, Heslov went on to acknowledge his partner in crime George Clooney. He also thanked his wife and his kids, and then explained why he wanted to speak before Affleck. "Ben is a producer on the film and he is also our director. I thought it would be awkward for Ben to thank himself, but it's not awkward for me. So on behalf of George and myself, I want to thank you Ben. You directed a hell of a film. Couldn't be more proud of the film; couldn't be more proud of Ben."
"I want to acknowledge Steven Spielberg who I feel is a genius and a towering talent among us. I want to acknowledge the other eight films. There are eight great films that have every right to be up here as much as we do. I want to acknowledge them and thank them for what they did," said Affleck. Very, very rushed, Affleck thanked everyone in the movie, worked on the movie, had anything to do with this movie, and the people who live in Iran. He also thanked his wife, Jennifer Garner, for working on their marriage and said there was no one else he'd rather work with.
He then talked about how he was there 15 years ago (for Good Will Hunting) and how he never thought he would be back up on that stage again. "I am, because of so many of you who are here tonight because of this Academy, because of so many wonderful people who extended themselves to me when they had nothing to benefit from it in Hollywood. You know what I mean? I couldn't get them a job. I want to thank them and I want to thank what they taught me which is you have to work harder than you think you possibly can. You can't hold grudges; it's hard, but you can't hold grudges," said Affleck, getting very emotional. "It doesn't matter how you get knocked down in life because that's going to happen. All that matters is that you got to get up."
(Photo by Matt Petit © A.M.P.A.S.)