LOS ANGELES "Argo" won best picture, Jennifer Lawrence and Daniel Day-Lewis took the acting awards, and Kentucky played a role in each of those big wins during Sunday night's 85th Academy Awards.
Born and raised in Louisville, Lawrence, 22, 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 won for her role as a damaged soul in "Silver Linings Playbook".
She was the third-youngest best-actress contender ever when she earned 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.
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.
An avid University of Louisville sports fan, Lawrence is playing heroine Katniss Everdeen in the blockbuster film franchise of "The Hunger Games" books; her co-star is fellow Kentuckian Josh Hutcherson of Union. The second film in that series, "Catching Fire," is due out Nov. 22. Her next release is the period drama "Serena," alongside "Silver Linings Playbook" co-star Bradley Cooper, in September.
Lawrence wasn't the only Kentuckian to win an Oscar on Sunday. George Clooney, who was born in Lexington and grew up in Augusta, won his second Academy Award, this time as a producer of "Argo". In 2006 he won the best supporting actor prize for "Syriana." "Argo" is a thriller about the CIA's plot to rescue six Americans during the Iranian hostage crisis. That film was most noted this Oscar season for fellow producer Ben Affleck's non-nomination as director, an honor he won at the major awards leading up to Sunday's show.
Ang Lee pulled off the upset as best director for "Life of Pi," taking the prize over Steven Spielberg, who had been favored for the Civil War saga "Lincoln", about another Kentucky native.
"Lincoln" put Day-Lewis among a select group of Academy Award recipients with his third Oscar, taking the best actor trophy for his performance as the 16th president.
Anne Hathaway won a supporting actress Oscar as a doomed mother-turned-prostitute in the musical "Les Misérables," and Christoph Waltz won his second supporting actor Oscar, each one for a Quentin Tarantino film. This time it was for playing a genteel bounty hunter in the slave-revenge saga "Django Unchained."
Hathaway 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."
Waltz, in a choked voice, offered thanks to his character and "to his creator and the creator of his awe-inspiring world," Tarantino.
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. Backstage, Waltz had a simple explanation for why the collaboration works.
"Quentin writes poetry, and I like poetry," Waltz said.
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.
The top prize winner at last year's Cannes Film Festival, "Amour" follows the agonizing story of an elderly man (Jean-Louis Trintignant) tending his wife (Riva) as she declines from age and illness. Haneke thanked his own wife for supporting him in his work for 30 years.
The Scottish adventure "Brave," from Disney's Pixar Animation unit, was named best animated feature. Pixar films have won seven of the 12 Oscars since the category was added.
The upbeat musical portrait "Searching for Sugar Man" took the documentary feature prize. The film follows the quest of two South African fans to discover the fate of acclaimed but obscure singer-songwriter Sixto Rodriguez, who dropped out of sight after two albums in the 1970s and was rumored to have died a bitter death.
"Thanks to one of the greatest singers ever, Rodriguez," said "Sugar Man" director Malik Bendjelloul.
There was a rare tie in one category, with the Osama bin Laden thriller "Zero Dark Thirty" and the James Bond tale "Skyfall" each winning for sound editing.
Any uncertainty that surrounded Seth MacFarlane's ability to host movie's biggest night was put to bed quickly.
"Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the Oscars," he began. "And the quest to make Tommy Lee Jones laugh begins now." To MacFarlane's credit, even the taciturn Jones couldn't resist a laugh at that.
MacFarlane's mildly edgy opening monologue offered the usual polite jabs at the academy, the stars and the industry. He took a poke at the snub of Affleck.
"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."
While some feared that "The Family Guy" creator and "Ted" director would turn a scathing laser beam on others, he largely turned it on himself.
"It's an honor that everyone else said no," MacFarlane joked about being asked to host the show.
The opening monologue was interrupted by Captain Kirk aka William Shatner who time-traveled to stop MacFarlane from ruining the show in part by singing a song titled "We Saw Your Boobs."
"Why can't Tina and Amy host everything?" Shatner cracked. He was referring to Amy Poehler and Tina Fey, who hosted the Globes last month and provided the kind of goofy, edgy narration that Oscar organizers were hoping to get from MacFarlane.
Singer Shirley Bassey, who made her Oscar debut Sunday night, received the night's first standing ovation, for her performance of her classic 1965 hit "Goldfinger" during the ceremony's celebration of 50 years of James Bond. Oscar producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron lined up a top-notch cast of stars as presenters, including "The Avengers" co-stars Robert Downey Jr., Samuel L. Jackson, Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo and Jeremy Renner. They presented two prizes to "Life of Pi," for cinematography and visual effects.
"This movie was quite a beast to make," said cinematographer Claudio Miranda, who shot dazzling images for the story of a youth adrift on a lifeboat with a Bengal tiger.
Miranda's win marked another round of Oscar futility for revered cinematographer Roger Deakins, who was nominated for the James Bond adventure "Skyfall." Deakins has been nominated 10 times but has yet to win.