LOS ANGELES - If Ben Affleck was snubbed by the Oscars, everyone should be so lucky. His Iran rescue thriller "Argo" has won best picture from the Academy Awards.
It's the first best picture winner not to be nominated for best director since 1989's "Driving Miss Daisy." But despite the omission of Affleck -- or perhaps buoyed by it -- "Argo" emerged as the Oscar favorite, winning top honors from the directors, producers, screen actors and writers guilds.
Affleck and fellow producers George Clooney and Grant Heslov accepted the award Sunday night.
Among the other eight nominees, Steven Spielberg's "Lincoln" was perceived as the biggest competition to "Argo." The other nominees were "Life of Pi," "Silver Linings Playbook," "Zero Dark Thirty," "Les Miserables," "Amour," "Beasts of the Southern Wild" and "Django Unchained."
Michelle Obama announces Best Picture winner
Michelle Obama made a surprise appearance at the Oscars, opening the envelope that contained the name of the Best Picture winner, "Argo."
Appearing via streaming video from the White House, Mrs. Obama said all of the nominees demonstrated that "we can overcome any obstacle."
She said that message is "especially important for our young people" and thanked Hollywood for encouraging children "to open their imaginations."
The first lady was introduced by Jack Nicholson, who noted that the Best Picture trophy is usually announced solo.
Mrs. Obama wore a silver, art deco-inspired gown by Indian-born American fashion designer Naeem Khan. It was the same dress she wore for the Obamas' dinner with the nation's governors at the White House Sunday night.