The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

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February 25, 2013

Bucknell University graduate earns an Academy Award

LOS ANGELES — Bucknell University graduate Bill Westenhofer, along with Guillaume Rocheron, Erik-Jan De Boer and Donald R. Elliott from “Life of Pi” won an Academy Award Sunday night for Best Visual Effects.

Westenhofer, a 1990 Bucknell graduate, also won an Oscar in 2008 for his visual effects work on the movie, “The Golden Compass.”

The motion picture academy spread the gold around to a varied slate of films. "Argo" won best picture as expected, along with two other prizes. But "Life of Pi" won the most awards with four, including a surprise win for director Ang Lee.

"Les Miserables" also won three Academy Awards, while "Django Unchained" and "Skyfall" each took two.

Among the winners were the front-runners throughout this lengthy awards season: best actor Daniel Day-Lewis for his deeply immersed portrayal of Abraham Lincoln in Steven Spielberg's epic "Lincoln," best actress Jennifer Lawrence as a troubled young widow in "Silver Linings Playbook" and supporting actress Anne Hathaway as the doomed prostitute Fantine in the musical "Les Miserables." Christoph Waltz was a bit of a surprise for supporting actor as a charismatic bounty hunter in Quentin Tarantino's "Django Unchained," an award he'd won just three years ago for Tarantino's "Inglorious Basterds."

The 22-year-old Lawrence, who got to show her lighter side in the oddball romance "Silver Linings Playbook" following serious roles in "Winter's Bone" and "The Hunger Games," gamely laughed at herself as she tripped on the stairs en route to the stage in her poufy, pale pink Dior Haute Couture gown. Backstage in the press room, when a reporter asked what she was thinking, she responded: "A bad word that I can't say that starts with 'F.'" Keeping journalists in hysterics, she explained, "I'm sorry. I did a shot before I ... sorry."

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