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Oscar Night Quick Reaction: No Big Surprises in Close Races

Technical wins help power "Life of Pi" over the field, "Django Unchained" bests "Silver Linings Playbook," and a rare tie keeps "Zero Dark Thirty" from being shut out.

Jennifer Lawrence Oscar Win - P 2013
Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP

The award season ended in an Academy Awards with not many surprises in its close races.

Of those, a best director win for Ang Lee over Steven Spielberg is noteworthy. And Spielberg's Lincoln won only best actor and best production design despite having a field-leading 12 nominations.

Life of Pi did very well on technical wins -- and that big directing win for Lee.

STORY: 'Life of Pi' Tops with 4 Wins; 'Argo' Best Picture

In the big categories, there were wins as expected from Day-Lewis, Anne Hathaway for best supporting actress and Argo for best picture.

I think Jennifer Lawrence won by a heartbeat -- probably because she was able to actively campaign. Emmanuelle Riva lives in France and doesn't speak English, so couldn't really campaign. That win was the only one for David O. Russell's Silver Linings Playbook.

STORY: 'Zero Dark Thirty,' 'Skyfall' Share Sound Editing in Rare Tie

In the end, after all the effort, there were more wins on Oscar night for Django Unchained and Skyfall than Silver Linings Playbook and Zero Dark Thirty, which earned only a tie with Skyfall for best sound editing.

Django Unchained, which won best screenplay for Quentin Tarantino (who also directed) and Christoph Waltz for best supporting actor, was a movie people really enjoyed, so its wins were a chance to reward it in those categories. Skyfall also won best song for its title song.