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Comment 25 FEBRUARY 2013

Oscars 2013: Michelle Obama dazzles as she makes history presenting an Oscar

Michelle Obama surprised viewers and attendees alike when she popped up to present the Best Picture award at the Oscars on Sunday night. The US's First Lady, 49, made history as she joined three-time Oscar winner Jack Nicholson via satellite from the White House to present the gong. It was the first time the president or First Lady had ever presented an Academy Award. 

She dazzled in a custom-made sequined Naeem Khan dress accessorized with chandelier earrings and her hair pulled back in an elegant updo. The president and his wife were hosting the annual Governors' Dinner that night so ever-elegant Michelle was already red carpet ready.

The metallic geometric dress was by Indian-born, American fashion designer Naeem Kham, who is emerging as a favourite with the fashionable first lady who also wore one of his design's to last year's Governors' Dinner. 


She warmly welcomed the audience to the White House, where she and the husband Barack were holding the dinner, and said she was honored to introduce the nominees for Best Picture.

She spoke about the nine nominated films and was delighted to "help celebrate the movies that lift our spirits, broaden our minds and transport us to places we have never imagined". She praised the film industry congratulated the nominees on their "tremendous work".

She was flanked by beaming servicemen and women as she delivered her speech and said of the leading lights of showbiz, "They reminded us we can overcome any obstacles if we dig deep enough and hard enough. They are especially important for young people. Every day they engage in the arts, they learn to open their imaginations ... and strive to reach those dreams."

The President's wife then handed over to Jack Nicholson who opened the all-important gold envelope and awarded the gong to Argo. An overwhelmed Ben Affleck and his crew came to collect the award on stage.


He made a similarly uplifting speech referring back to his success at the Academy Awards 15 years ago for his role in Goodwill Hunting, "I had no idea what I was doing. I stood out here. I was just a kid, and I never thought I'd be back here, and I am... What I learned was it doesn't matter if you get knocked down in life, what matters is that you've got to get back up."

A spokesperson for the White House said of Michelle's appearance, "As a movie lover, she was honoured to present the award and celebrate the artists who inspire us all – especially our young people – with their passion, skill and imagination."

Harvey Weinstein's daughter Lily was reportedly the person behind the idea of Michelle taking part in the ceremony. Her dad, the producer of Best Picture contender Silver Linings Playbook and an Obama supporter, reportedly pulled the necessary strings to make it happen.

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