Los Angeles (CNN) -- The silent, black-and-white film "The Artist" took top honors at the Academy Awards on Sunday night, garnering five Oscars for best picture, best directing, best costume design, best original music score and best actor.
Jean Dujardin, who spoke just two words in "The Artist," was jubilant as he accepted his best actor Oscar. "I love your country," the French actor said.
Asked backstage how he would make a transition to American "talkies," he said "I'm not an Amerian actor, I continue in French." His translator then said "It's possible if he could make another silent movie in America, he'd like to."
Michel Hazanavicius beat out Martin Scorsese and Woody Allen to win his best directing Academy Award.
"I am the happiest director in the world right now," Hazanavicius said as he accepted.
Meryl Streep's channeling of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in "The Iron Lady" earned the best actress Oscar for her. It was her third Academy Award after 17 nominations.
"When they called my name, I had this feeling I could hear half of America going 'Oh no, why her again? Well, whatever,'" Streep joked in her acceptance.
"The Iron Lady" was also rewarded with a best make up Oscar for the work done to convince the audience that Streep was Thatcher.
Christopher Plummer became the oldest actor to win an Academy Award when he was presented the best supporting actor Oscar for his role as an aging gay man in "Beginners."
"You're only two years older than me, darling," the 82-year-old Plummer said as he looked at his Oscar trophy. "Where have you been all my life?" He also won the Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild award in earlier competitions.
Backstage, Plummer called his Oscar "sort of a renewal."
"It has recharged me," Plummer said. "I hope I can do it for another 10 years at least. I'm going to drop dead on the stage or on a set. we don't retire."
Octavia Spencer cried as she accepted the best supporting actress Oscar for her portrayal of a Mississippi maid in the civil-rights-era movie "The Help."
"I'm sorry, I'm freaking out," Spencer said as the allotted time for her acceptance speech ended.
Spencer's win was not a surprise to many Oscar watchers since she also won best supporting actress at the Golden Globes and the SAG awards.
Martin Scorsese's 3-D film "Hugo," which was up for awards in 11 categories, won five Oscars, including for best cinematography, best art direction, best sounding edit, best sound mixing and best visual effects.
Woody Allen won the best original screenplay Oscar for his film about a time-traveling American writer, "Midnight in Paris."
"The Descendants," a family drama starring George Clooney, won for best adapted screenplay.
The Oscar for best foreign language film was awarded to Iran's "A Separation."
"At this time, many Iranians all over the world are watching us and I imagine them to be very happy," director Asghar Farhadi said as he accepted.
The animated feature film Oscar went to "Rango," the story of a lizard stranded in the Mojave Desert.
The best documentary feature Oscar was awarded to "Undefeated," the story of a high school football team that reversed its losing tradition.
The Oscar for best film editing went to Kirk Baxter and Angus Wall, the editors of "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo."
"Man or Muppets," a song written for "The Muppets," won the best original movie song Oscar.
"Saving Face," the story of a British-Pakistani plastic surgeon helps restore the faces of women scarred by acid attacks, won the best documentary short Oscar.
The short live action film Oscar was given to "The Shore," which is about the reunion of two boyhood friends in Northern Ireland.
"The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore," which creates a world where books are alive, won the best animated short Oscar.
Billy Crystal returned to the Oscar stage to host Hollywood's biggest night for a ninth time, opening with a comedic video that included Justin Bieber and Tom Cruise.
"I'm here to get you the 18-to-24 demographic," the teenage Bieber told Crystal.
Crystal belted out a new version of his usual opening song, "It's a Wonderful Night for Oscar," with lyrical references to each best picture nominee.
The 84th annual Academy Awards was televised live Sunday night from the Hollywood & Highland Center, formerly Hollywood's Kodak Theatre. The Kodak name was taken off the theater after a bankruptcy court ruling last week.
Crystal jokingly referred to it as the "beautiful Chapter 11 theater."