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.
Halle Berry introduced a tribute to the James Bond franchise in which she has co-starred as the British super-spy celebrated his 50th anniversary on the big-screen last year with the latest adventure “Skyfall.'' Shirley Bassey sang her theme song to the 1960s Bond tale “Goldfinger.''
A salute to the resurgence of movie musicals in the last decade included Oscar winners Catherine Zeta-Jones singing ``All That Jazz'' from “Chicago'' and Jennifer Hudson doing “And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going'' from “Dreamgirls.'' Oscar nominees Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway joined cast mates of best-picture contender “Les Miserables'' to sing songs from their musical.
Fans have pondered how far MacFarlane, the impudent creator of “Family Guy,'' might push the normally prim and proper Oscars. Nearly 90 minutes into the show, the answer was, not that far. MacFarlane was generally polite and respectful, showcasing his charm, wit and vocal gifts.
MacFarlane did press his luck a bit on an Abraham Lincoln joke, noting that Raymond Massey preceded ``Lincoln'' star Daniel Day-Lewis as an Oscar nominee for 1940's ``Abe Lincoln in Illinois.''
“I would argue that the actor who really got inside Lincoln's head was John Wilkes Booth,'' MacFarlane wisecracked, earning some groans from the crowd. “A hundred and 50 years later, and it's still too soon?''
MacFarlane may be a wild card, but as for the show itself, predictability could be the Academy Awards' middle name. This time looks the same, with clear favorites in the main categories.
Affleck's “Argo'' looks like it will be an uncommon film to claim best picture without a directing nomination, while ``Lincoln'' filmmaker Steven Spielberg and star Day-Lewis are favored to join exclusive lists of three-time Oscar winners.
Affleck was not counting on anything, though.
“We don't expect to depart with anything but our integrity,'' Affleck said on the Oscar red carpet