HOLLYWOOD—Hollywood veteran Steven Spielberg left the Oscars empty-handed for the second year running, despite his film having the most nominations for Tinseltown’s top awards show.
Presidential drama “Lincoln” entered the race with 12 nominations, but Ben Affleck’s hostage drama “Argo” won virtually every top award over the last month or two, culminating in Sunday’s best picture Oscar.
As expected Daniel Day-Lewis won best actor for his role as the 16th US president, but the only other award “Lincoln” won was for the technical category of best production design, not one requiring Spielberg on stage.
Last year Spielberg’s epic “War Horse” fared even worse: it had six nominations but failed to win in a single category.
The 66-year-old “E.T.” and “Jurassic Park” filmmaker last won an Oscar in 1999 for “Saving Private Ryan,” as director. In 1994 he won best picture and best director for “Schindler’s List.”
Affleck — the first person to win best picture without being nominated as director since “Driving Miss Daisy” in 1990 — paid tribute to Spielberg in his acceptance speech at the end of the 85th Academy Awards.
“Steven Spielberg, I want to acknowledge, I feel is a genius and a towering talent among us,” said Affleck, who was not nominated for best director or best actor at the Oscars, in a perceived snub.
Spielberg had been widely expected to win best director, but that award went, to the surprise of some, to Taiwan-born filmmaker Ang Lee for his 3D spectacular “Life of Pi.”
Last year’s “War Horse” experience recalled the 2005 Oscars, when Spielberg’s “Munich” won not a single award, despite five nominations including for best film and director.