Sunday night’s Oscars were chock full of surprises, from Anne Hathaway’s confusing gown, to the major “Life of Pi” upset (it came away with more Oscar wins than the highly-touted “Argo”), to Jennifer Lawrence’s embarrassing fall en route to collect her first ever Oscar award. But perhaps the most surprising and controversial moment of the night, was when First Lady Michelle Obama presented the Oscar award for “Best Picture.”
Viewers were hardly astonished to see the award go to “Argo:” it received steady buzz throughout the awards season and statistical wunderkind Nate Silver had calculated the odds to be overwhelmingly in the film’s favor. However, they were nonetheless surprised when the FLOTUS appeared in all her glory, in a live telecast from the White House.
Clad in a glamorous silver custom-made Naeem Khan gown, the Obama spoke of the year’s nine contenders for Best Pictures, saying that they all, "made us laugh, made us weep and grip our armrests just a little bit tighter."
"[These films] taught us that love can beat all odds," she added. "They reminded us that we can overcome any obstacle if we dig deep enough and fight hard enough and find the courage within ourselves."
“They are especially important for young people. Everyday they engage in the arts, they learn to open their imaginations ... and strive to reach those dreams,” Obama said.
After collecting the coveted Best Picture award, “Argo” director Ben Affleck said that was still recovering from the shock of receiving the award directly from the First Lady, admitting he was “sort of hallucinating.”
“The fact that it was the first lady was an enormous honor ... it was very cool," he told reporters.
But not everyone was as impressed with Obama’s involvement in the Hollywood ceremony, which marked the first time a First Lady ever presented an Oscar.
“Michelle Obama announcing it makes the Argo win seem even paltrier. Really really weird cultural moment,” Slate critic Dana Stevens tweeted.
New Yorker writer Richard Brody also commented on her appearance on Twitter, writing, “For anyone who doubted the Hollywood-Washington nexus; always happy to see Michelle Obama, but somehow, here, it's the wrong message.”
According to People, Obama’s presentation came in the midst of the Governors Dinner, so as other outlets mentioned, she had likely not dressed only for the Oscars. After presenting the award, Obama tweeted, “It was a thrill to announce the
#Oscars2013 best picture winner from the @WhiteHouse! Congratulations Argo! –mo”
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