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Oscars 2013: Ang Lee wins best director for ‘Life of Pi’

In a case of history repeating itself, Ang Lee nabbed the directing Oscar for his film “Life of Pi” at the 85th Academy Awards on Sunday, beating Steven Spielberg as he did back in 2006 when the two were last nominated.

Back then, Lee’s work on “Brokeback Mountain” bested Spielberg’s drama “Munich.” This time, Lee beat him for his work on “Lincoln.”

Lee, 59, also bested Austrian Michael Haneke (“Amour”), Benh Zeitlin (“Beasts of the Southern Wild”) and David O. Russell (“Silver Linings Playbook”).

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“Life of Pi,” based on Yann Martel’s bestseller, centers on a boy’s survival in the ocean after a tragic shipwreck. The film, which cost $120 million, has grossed more than $111 million domestically and $465 million overseas.

Lee’s win marks “Life of Pi’s” fourth win of the evening. “Thank you, movie god,” quipped the Taiwanese director.

The 3-D film also nabbed prizes for cinematography, score and visual effects. It’s the first time a director has won for helming a 3-D movie.

Left out of contention were “Argo” director Ben Affleck and “Zero Dark Thirty” helmer Kathryn Bigelow. Affleck won top honors from the Directors Guild. This marks the first time in a decade that the winner of the Directors Guild feature prize does not also win the Academy Award.

The 85th Academy Awards are being held at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood on Sunday night, in a televised ceremony hosted by Seth MacFarlane.

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