LOS ANGELES (AP) — ‘‘Hunger Games’’ star Jennifer Lawrence has triumphed in Hollywood’s big games, winning the best-actress Academy Award as a damaged soul in ‘‘Silver Linings Playbook,’’ while Ang Lee pulled off a huge upset as best director for ‘‘Life of Pi.’’
Lawrence took a fall on her way to the stage, tripping on the steps.
‘‘You guys are just standing up because you feel bad that I fell,’’ Lawrence joked as the crowd gave her a standing ovation.
At 22, Lawrence is the second-youngest woman to win best actress, behind Marlee Matlin, who was 21 when she won for ‘‘Children of a Lesser God.’’ Lawrence also is the third-youngest best-actress contender ever, earning her first nomination at age 20 two years ago for her breakout role in ‘‘Winter’s Bone,’’ the film that took her from virtual unknown to one of Hollywood’s most-versatile and sought-after performers.
Lee won best director for the shipwreck story ‘‘Life of Pi,’’ taking the prize over Steven Spielberg, who had been favored for ‘‘Lincoln.’’
Anne Hathaway went from propping up leaden sidekick James Franco at the Academy Awards to hefting a golden statue of her own with a supporting-actress Oscar win as a doomed mother-turned-prostitute in the musical ‘‘Les Miserables.’’
Christoph Waltz won his second supporting-actor Oscar for a Tarantino film, this time as a genteel bounty hunter in the slave-revenge saga ‘‘Django Unchained.’’ Tarantino also won his second Oscar, for original screenplay for ‘‘Django.’’
Hathaway, whose perkiness helped carry her and the listless Franco through an ill-starred stint as Oscar hosts two years ago, is the third performer in a musical to win supporting actress during the genre’s resurgence in the last decade.
‘‘It came true,’’ said Hathaway, who joins 2002 supporting-actress winner Catherine Zeta-Jones for ‘‘Chicago’’ and 2006 recipient Jennifer Hudson for ‘‘Dreamgirls.’’ Hathaway had warm thanks for ‘‘Les Miz’’ co-star Hugh Jackman, with whom she once sang a duet at the Oscars when he was the show’s host.
Hathaway’s Oscar came for her role as noble but fallen Fantine in the big-screen adaptation of the Broadway smash that was based on Victor Hugo’s epic novel of revolution, romance and redemption in 19th century France.
‘‘Life of Pi’’ was in the lead with four Oscars, also winning for Mychael Danna’s multicultural musical score that blends Indian and Western instruments and influences, plus cinematography and visual effects.
‘‘I really want to thank you for believing this story and sharing this incredible journey with me,’’ Lee said to all who worked on the film, a surprise blockbuster about a youth trapped on a lifeboat with a Bengal tiger.
A veteran performer in Germany and his native Austria, Waltz had been a virtual unknown in Hollywood when Tarantino cast him as a gleefully evil Nazi in 2009’s ‘‘Inglourious Basterds,’’ which won him his first Oscar.
‘‘I have to cast the right people to make those characters come alive,’’ said Tarantino, who won previously for ‘‘Pulp Fiction. ‘‘And boy, this time, did I do it. Thank you so much, guys.’’
Waltz has since done a handful of other Hollywood movies, but it’s Tarantino who has given him his two choicest roles. Backstage, Waltz had a simple explanation for why the collaboration works.
‘‘Quentin writes poetry, and I like poetry,’’ Waltz said.
Oscar host Seth MacFarlane opened with a mildly edgy monologue that offered the usual polite jabs at the academy, the stars and the industry. He took a poke at academy voters over the snub of Ben Affleck, who missed out on a directing nomination for best-picture favorite ‘‘Argo,’’ a thriller about the CIA’s plot to rescue six Americans during the Iranian hostage crisis.
‘‘The story was so top secret that the film’s director is unknown to the academy,’’ MacFarlane said. ‘‘They know they screwed up. Ben, it’s not your fault.’’
‘‘Argo’’ 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.
Terrio dedicated the award to Mendez, saying ‘‘33 years ago, Tony, using nothing but his creativity and his intelligence, Tony got six people out of a bad situation.’’
The foreign-language prize went to Austrian filmmaker Michael Haneke’s old-age love story ‘‘Amour,’’ which had been a major surprise with five nominations, including picture, director and original screenplay for Haneke and best actress for Emmanuelle Riva, who turned 86 on Sunday and would be the oldest acting winner ever.Continued...