Chicago at the Academy Awards

Wally Pfister poses backstage with presenter Tom Hanks and the Oscar for best achievement in cinematography for "Inception" at the 83rd Academy Awards on Sunday, Feb. 27, 2011, in the Hollywood section of Los Angeles. ((AP Photo/Matt Sayles))

February 28, 2011 3:34:11 PM PST
And the Oscar goes to . . . two Chicago area natives and one Northwestern University alumnus.

Chicago made a showing at the 83rd Academy Awards Sunday night.

Elmhurst native Wally Pfister won an Oscar for cinematography for the movie "Inception." Pfister thanked his union crew for their work on the movie. Later, backstage, he spoke about the union battle in neighboring Wisconsin.

"I think that what is going on in Wisconsin is kind of madness right now," Pfister said. "I have been a union member for 30 years and what the union has given to me is security for my family. They have given me health care in a country that doesn't provide health care and I think unions are a very important part of the middle class in America all we are trying to do is get a decent wage and have medical care."

Inception also won in the categories of sound mixing and sound editing.

Karen O'Hara, also a Chicago native, received the Oscar for best art direction for the movie "Alice in Wonderland," for which she was the set decorator. Robert Stromberg, production designer on the movie, had a prop for his Oscar -- a Mad Hatter's hat. The Tim Burton film also won for costume design. Carey Villegas of Joliet was nominated for his visual effects category for work on "Alice in Wonderland," but did not win.

Luke Matheny, who got his bachelor's degree at Northwestern University, received an Academy Award for his short film, "God of Love." The 19 minute movie was produced as Matheny's thesis film as graduate work at NYU. In his acceptance speech, Matheny said "Oh, I should've got a haircut." and then thanked his mother.

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