"The Artist" took home the top award at Sunday night's Academy Award ceremony. The movie was honored with the Best Picture Oscar, the first silent film to win the award since 1928.
"Hugo" was another major winner on the night. The Martin Scorsese-directed film won five awards.It was also a big night for Christopher Plummer, who became the oldest person to win an acting Oscar, Octavia Spencer and Meryl Streep. Other winners on the night included Woody Allen and Bret McKenzie, one half of the comedy folk duo Flight Of the Conchords.
In winning the Best Picture Oscar, "The Artist" beat out "The Descendants," "Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close," "The Help," "Hugo," "Midnight in Paris," "Moneyball," "The Tree of Life" and "War Horse."
Michel Hazanavicius won the Best Director award for "The Artist." He beat out Woody Allen for "Midnight in Paris," Terrence Malick for "The Tree of Life," Alexander Payne for "The Descendants" and Martin Scorsese for "Hugo."
"The Artist" also brought home an Oscar for French actor Jean Dujardin, who won for Best Actor. "I love your country!" he said as he accepted the award, beating out Demián Bichir in "A Better Life," George Clooney in "The Descendants," Gary Oldman in "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy" and Brad Pitt in "Moneyball."
Meryl Streep took home her third Academy Award in her 17th nomination, winning for her role as Margaret Thatcher in "The Iron Lady." She beat out Glenn Close in "Albert Nobbs," Viola Davis in "The Help," Rooney Mara in "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" and Michelle Williams in "My Week with Marilyn."
Sunday night's ceremony was hosted by Billy Crystal, in his ninth appearance as Academy Award emcee and his first since 2003. As is his tradition, Crystal started the evening with a montage of himself placed in some of the year's best-known films - including a spoof of "The Descendants" that included a kiss with George Clooney - as well as a song-and-dance routine featuring the best picture nominees.
Octavia Spencer won in the category of Best Actress In A Supporting Role for her contribution to "The Help," garnering a standing ovation from the audience at the ceremony. She beat out Bérénice Bejo from "The Artist," Jessica Chastain from "The Help," Melissa McCarthy from "Bridesmaids" and Janet McTeer from "Albert Nobbs."
Christopher Plummer also received a standing ovation, winning his first Oscar at the age of 82. The actor, who starred in such movies as "The Sound of Music" and "The Man Who Would Be King," won for Best Actor In A Supporting Role for his role in "Beginners." Holding the trophy after making it up to the microphone to accept the award, Plummer said to the iconic gold statue "you're only two years older than me, darling. Where have you been all my life?"
Plummer beat out Max von Sydow in "Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close," Kenneth Branagh in "My Week With Marilyn," Jonah Hill in "Moneyball" and Nick Nolte in "Warrior."
Woody Allen was honored for his screenplay for "Midnight In Paris." While he wasn't on hand to accept his award, he won for Best Original Screenplay. Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon, and Jim Rash also won the night's other writing award, with their script for "The Descendants" winning for Best Adapted Screenplay.
Bret McKenzie won the Academy Award for Best Original Song for the tune "Man or Muppet" from "The Muppets." He beat out "Real In Rio" from "Rio," written by Sérgio Mendes, Carlinhos Brown, and Siedah Garrett.
by RTT Staff Writer
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