LOS ANGELES - Oscar night itself held few surprises after a season that seemed to promise an anything-goes affair.
Perhaps the biggest surprise was the appearance of one of the presenters: first lady Michelle Obama, who joined Jack Nicholson via satellite to read the winner of best picture.
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.
Todd Leopold, CNN contributed to this report