Berkley, California-born Ben Affleck's Iran hostage drama Argo on Sunday walked away with the Oscar for best picture, in a unique presentation performed by Jack Nicholson in Hollywood and First Lady Michelle Obama by videolink.
Argo trounced eight rivals for the top prize: Amour, Beasts Of The Southern Wild, Django Unchained, Les Miserables, Life of Pi, Lincoln, Silver Linings Playbook, and Zero Dark Thirty.
On Nicholson's mark, Mrs Obama - wearing an what looked like for all the world a glittering 1980's vintage silver gown inside the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood - opened the envelope at the White House and declared Argo the winner.
"I want to thank Canada. I want to thank our friends in Iran, who live under terrible circumstances," said Affleck, a co-producer of the film, speaking at top speed in the very last minutes of the live prime-time Oscar broadcast.
Affleck's Argo collects Oscar for Best Picture