Oscar night was a good time for Ben Affleck, Jennifer Lawrence and Daniel Day-Lewis, and a mixed bag for viewers. The awards show was long and uneven, and also a puzzling night in many respects. We tackled some of the unanswered questions that remained after the Dolby Theatre emptied.
What was up with Michelle Obama's cameo?
Jack Nicholson took the stage to announce the best picture winner, but then the show cut to a satellite feed of first lady Michelle Obama live at the White House, wearing a glittery gown and announcing that "Argo" was the Oscar winner. The Hollywood Reporter writes that movie mogul Harvey Weinstein and Oscar producers worked the deal out with the first lady's staff and managed to keep it secret. Obama had been attending the National Governors Association Dinner and stepped out to handle the award announcement. What we found most interesting: Nicholson had a backup envelope with the winner's name in it just in case the White House feed was somehow lost. Obama herself later tweeted, "It was a thrill to announce the #Oscars2013 best picture winner from the @WhiteHouse! Congratulations Argo!"
Was Andy Griffith left out of the In Memoriam segment?
Yes he was. While Griffith, who died in July, is best known for TV roles, he also starred in feature films, including "No Time for Sergeants," "A Face in the Crowd," "Waitress" and others. Also left off was Larry Hagman, whose films included "Fail-Safe," "Nixon" and "Primary Colors." Phyllis Diller, Sherman Hemsley and Conrad Bain didn't make the cut either. But fans of Whitney Houston need not complain: She was in last year's In Memoriam segment, having died just weeks before the 2012 Oscars.
Why do the Oscars love 'Chicago' so much?
The show's theme was music in film, but you'd be forgiven if you thought its theme was "Hey, Wasn't The 2002 Best Picture Winner Really Great?" Catherine Zeta-Jones performed "Chicago" hit "All That Jazz" and a group of the film's cast members reunited on stage as part of the show's tribute to musicals. Critics were quick to point out that the current Oscar producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron also produced "Chicago." Wrote TV critic Tim Goodman on Twitter, "Maybe I'll wake up tomorrow to find the Academy charged Zadan and Meron the cost of five commercials for that (expletive) 'Chicago' self-love."
Was this the longest show ever?
Not by a long shot. Sunday's show lasted three hours, 35 minutes. According to the L.A. Times, five shows were longer, with the 2002 show clocking in at four hours, 23 minutes, and two other years also passing the four-hour mark.
Wait, Scarlett Johansson sang one of the nominated songs?
Yep. Johansson sang best original song nominee "Before My Time," from the climate-change documentary "Chasing Ice." She was accompanied by violinist Joshua Bell on the song. It didn't win, but songwriter J. Ralph, who also worked with Johansson on a song for a 2010 film about autism, calls the actress "a world-class singer in every regard."
What tripped up Jennifer Lawrence?
The best actress winner wiped out while walking to receive her award, then joked that the audience only gave her a standing ovation because they felt sorry for her. What caused the fall? E! Online quotes Lawrence as saying, "What do you mean, what happened? Look at this dress." Her pink Dior gown was apparently just too much volume for the 22-year-old, at least when it came to stair-climbing.
Why was Kristen Stewart limping?
If you saw "Twilight" star Stewart on either the red carpet, hopping from foot to foot as the paparazzi cameras flashed, or watched her closely when she came on stage with Daniel Radcliffe, you probably spotted a hitch in her walk. Her makeup artist told People magazine that Stewart cut her foot severely on broken glass, and indeed, she sported crutches on the red carpet.