USMagazine, Monday, February 25, 2013, 5:00am (PST)
People you expect to see towards the end of a typical Oscar ceremony: Jack Nicholson. People don't expect to see: First Lady Michelle Obama. Presenting the final award of Sunday's very long Academy Awards -- Best Picture -- three-time Oscar winner Nicholson, 75, introduced the President's wife, 49, appearing via satellite from the White House.
"Thank you Jack, and welcome to the White House everyone. I'm so honored to introduce the nominees for Best Picture," said the First Lady, resplendent in a Naeem Khan dress plus chandelier earrings. "And to help celebrate the movies that lift our spirits, broaden our minds and transport us to places we have never imagined."
Flanked by servicemen and women, Mrs. Obama praised the nine Best Picture nominees' uplifting qualities: "These lessons apply to all of us no matter who we are or what we look like or where we come from or who we love, but they are especially important for our young people . . . I want to thank all of you here tonight for being part of that vitally important work."
Obama than went back to Nicholson, who awarded the trophy to an emotionalBen Affleck and the entire Argo crew. What was behind Obama's inclusion?
"The Academy Awards approached the First Lady about being a part of the ceremony," Kristina Schake, Communications Director to the First Lady, said in a statement. " As a movie lover, she was honored to present the award and celebrate the artists who inspire us all—especially our young people--with their passion, skill and imagination."
For his part, director Affleck, 40, was floored by the FLOTUS. "I was sort of hallucinating when that was happening," said backstage. "It just seem[ed] so natural because the whole thing is so unnatural."