Silent film romance "The Artist" won big at the Oscars last night, taking home five statues including Best Picture, Directing and Actor in a Leading Role, with "Hugo" also cleaning up with five wins.
At the 84th annual ceremony, hosted by the drab-but-consistent Billy Crystal, honors were shared among a wide range of winners, including "The Help" actress Octavia Spencer, history-making veteran Christopher Plummer in "Beginners" and a
Director Martin Scorsese's "Hugo," which tells of a boy lost in a train station and also serves as an ode to the early days of filmmaking, came into the night with 11 nominations and picked up five early wins for cinematography, art direction, sound editing, sound mixing and visual effects.
"The Artist" was close behind with 10 nominations and nabbed two Oscars midway through the show for costume design and musical score, wrapping up with major wins later in the night.
Another highly touted movie, family drama "The Descendants," walked off with adapted screenplay and Woody Allen won for original screenplay with "Midnight in Paris."
But it was Plummer and Spencer who had the audience of A-list stars including George Clooney, Michelle Williams, Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt standing on their feet and cheering.
Plummer, who starred in "The Sound of Music," won his first ever Oscar for his portrayal of an elderly gay man who comes out to his family in "Beginners," and Spencer, a relative newcomer in contrast to Plummer, held back tears as she accepted her trophy for her portrayal of a black, southern made in civil rights drama "The Help."