Los Angeles: It was the French who did all the talking at the 84th Academy Awards ceremony here with The Artist silently marching on the grandest stage of them all to win five Oscars, including the best picture, and Hugo raking in a similar cache of the statute.
The Artist, a black and white French silent film, was named the best picture and also won the best actor and best director's trophy for Jean Dujardin and Michel Hazanavicius respectively.
The Artist, a film about a silent movie star who fears his downfall after the arrival of talkies, also won in the best costume and best original score categories. The movie is said to be the second silent film to have ever won an Oscar - the first being 1927 film Wings, which was awarded at the first Academy Awards in 1929.
Tom cruise presented the Best Motion Picture Oscar to Thomas Langmann, producer of The Artist.
Hugo, directed by Martin Scorsese, won more in the technical categories. Set in 1930s Paris, it is a 3D adventure drama about a boy embroiled in the mystery of his father's death and an automaton. The film took away the honours in best cinematography, best art direction, best sound editing, best sound mixing and visual effects categories.
Veteran actress Meryl Streep received her third Oscar at the glittering ceremony at the Kodak Theatre here on Sunday night. She won the best actress award for her portrayal of former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady, which won the best makeup award too.
Colin Firth presented her with the award. Meryl said, "When I hear my name I see half of America of going aww, not her again! But whatever. I want to thank my husband, colleages, friends. This is such a great honour but friendships, love matter to me more."
American actress Octavia Spencer was left in tears as she was awarded the best supporting actress trophy for Reliance DreamWorks' The Help, in which she essayed the role of a big-mouthed maid named Minny. The best actor in a supporting role award went to Christopher Plummer for Beginners. At age 82, he is said to be the oldest winner of the golden statuette.
Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon and Jim Rash were awarded for the best adapted screenplay of The Descendants, which has been translated to screen from Kaui Hart Hemmings' eponymous novel, while Woody Allen won the best original screenplay for romantic comedy Midnight in Paris.
Rango, a movie about a chameleon, was named the best animated feature film, and The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr.Morris Lessmore took away the best animated short trophy at the awards gala.
The best foreign film award was given to Iranian film A Separation, which also won the Golden Globe trophy in the same category this year. India's official entry in the category - Malayalam film Adaminte Makan Abu, had even failed to make it to the top nine shortlist.
Pakistani documentary film Saving Face, which uncovers the story of hundreds of people, mostly women who become acid attack victims, received the best documentary (short) title, while Undefeated won the award in the best documentary (feature) category.
The Oscar for original song went to Man and Muppets from The Muppets. The number was composed by Bret McKenzie.
The best film editing award was bagged by Kirk Baxter and Angus Wall for David Fincher's The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and the best live action short film went to The Shore.
Emma Stone, Ben Stiller, Penelope Cruz, Owen Wilson, Angelina Jolie, Christian Bale, Sandra Bullock and other glitterati were present.