Meanwhile, Meryl Streep was named the Best Actress for her portrayal as Margaret Thatcher in "The Iron Lady". Receiving her Oscar from presenter Colin Firth, she took home the prestigious award after besting other well-reviewed nominees like Rooney Mara ("The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011)", Glenn Close ("Albert Nobbs"), Viola Davis ("The Help"), and Michelle Williams ("My Week with Marilyn").
As for the Best Actor, Jean Dujardin won the golden statuette for his much-praised role as George Valentin in "The Artist". Natalie Portman presented the award for Dujardin, who defeated other acclaimed nominees such as Gary Oldman ("Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy"), Brad Pitt ("Moneyball") and George Clooney ("The Descendants"). Dujardin became the first ever France-born actor who won the Oscar for Best Actor.
"The Artist" also brought Michel Hazanavicius to claim the Best Director award. Upon receiving his prize from presenter Michael Douglas, Hazanavicius exclaimed, "Yes! Thank You!" The French filmmaker has knocked down such strong rivals as Woody Allen ("Midnight in Paris"), Terrence Malick ("The Tree of Life"), Alexander Payne ("The Descendants") and Martin Scorsese ("Hugo").
Other winners at the Oscars included "Rango" (Best Animated Feature), "A Separation" (Best Foreign Language Film), as well as "Midnight in Paris" and "The Descendants" (Best Original and Adapted Screenplay respectively). Octavia Spencer and Christopher Plummer, on the other hand, were hailed as the Best Supporting Actress and Actor respectively.
This year's Oscar was held at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood & Highland Center with Billy Crystal serving as the host for the ninth time. The show included special performance from Cirque du Soleil, which delivered an "Iris" theme show. Presenters during the night included such A-listers as Robert Downey Jr., Angelina Jolie, Michael Douglas, Tina Fey, Sandra Bullock, Tom Cruise and more.
Best Picture: "The Artist"
Best Director: Michel Hazanavicius - "The Artist"
Best Actor: Jean Dujardin - "The Artist"
Best Actress: Meryl Streep - "The Iron Lady"
Best Supporting Actor: Christopher Plummer - "Beginners"
Best Supporting Actress: Octavia Spencer - "The Help"
Best Writing - Original Screenplay: "Midnight in Paris" - Woody Allen
Best Writing - Adapted Screenplay: "The Descendants" - Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon, and Jim Rash
Best Animated Feature: "Rango"
Best Foreign Language Film: "A Separation"
Best Documentary - Feature: "Undefeated"
Best Documentary - Short Subject: "Saving Face"
Best Live Action Short Film: "The Shore"
Best Animated Short Film: "The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore"
Best Original Score: "The Artist" - Ludovic Bource
Best Original Song: "The Muppets" - "Man or Muppet" by Bret McKenzie
Best Sound Editing: "Hugo" - Philip Stockton and Eugene Gearty
Best Sound Mixing: "Hugo" - Tom Fleischman and John Midgley
Best Art Direction: "Hugo" - Dante Ferretti and Francesca Lo Schiavo
Best Cinematography: "Hugo" - Robert Richardson
Best Makeup: "The Iron Lady" - Mark Coulier and J. Roy Helland
Best Costume Design: "The Artist"
Best Film Editing: "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011)" - Angus Wall and Kirk Baxter
Best Visual Effects: "Hugo" - Rob Legato, Joss Williams, Ben Grossmann and Alex Henning