"Hugo" and "The Artist" had the best night at the 84th annual Academy Awards — by the numbers, at least.
Martin Scorsese's kids' movie and "The Artist" each took home five Oscars, but Michel Hazanavicius' black and white film got top honors for snagging a few of the major awards.
"The Artist" earned the Oscar for Best Picture — the first for a silent film since "Wings" won at the very first Academy Awards way back in 1929.
It also won awards for Best Director (Michel Hazanavicius), Best Actor (Jean Dujardin), Best Original Score and Best Costume Design.
Producer Thomas Langmann dedicated the Best Picture win to his late father, fellow Oscar winner Claude Berri.
In the major acting categories, Best Actress was arguably the most closely contested race at this year's Oscars but in the end it was Meryl Streep who took home the award for "The Iron Lady," edging out fellow frontrunner Viola Davis to join Dujardin in the winner's circle.
"When they called my name I had this feeling I could hear half of America saying, oh, c'mon. Oh, no. Not her again," Streep said of her third win in 17 nominations. "But... whatever!"
In the supporting races, the status quo held true to form, with presumptive winners Christopher Plummer ("Beginners") and Octavia Spencer ("The Help") becoming actual winners in the Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress races respectively. Both received standing ovations.
"I have a confession to make," the Plummer said after becoming the oldest person to ever win an acting Oscar, at the ripe age of 82. "When I came out of my mother's womb, I was already practicing my Oscar acceptance speech."
"Thank you, world," said a visibly emotional Spencer, who was barely given time to compose herself before being quickly shunted offstage by overzealous producers. "I'm freaking out."
And for the first time ever, Pixar failed to land a nomination in the Best Animated Feature category, which helped clear the way for Johnny Depp's "Rango" to take home the Oscar. "It doesn't get any better than this," said director Gore Verbinski, who called Depp a "true chameleon."
Presenters provided many of the show's highlights, with the lovely -- and hilarious -- ladies of "Bridesmaids" showing up en masse to present the awards for Best Live Action Short, Best Documentary Short and Best Animated Short, while Angelina Jolie added a little sex appeal to the profession of writer, flashing some amazing gams during the announcement of the Best Screenplay and Best Adapted Screenplay categories. Alexander Payne shared the win for "The Descendants" with former Groundlings stars Nat Faxon and Jim Rash, while "Midnight in Paris" auteur Woody Allen, per his usual custom, did not attend the ceremony. Wherever he was, we doubt the legs were that nice.
In another highlight by the presenters, Emma Stone teamed up with Ben Stiller to present the award for Best Visual Effects. At one point she tried to drag Jonah Hill onto the stage to dance, but he declined to the dismay of, well, the entire universe.
The ceremony started off strong, with returning host Billy Crystal, who was pressed into emergency service after Brett Ratner self-destructed during early preparation for the broadcast, bringing down the house by kicking off the show with his signature medley and montage of Best Picture nominees, including both a surprise cameo by Justin Bieber and a hot liplock with… George Clooney?
"This is my ninth time hosting the Oscars," Crystal joked about his return. "So tonight, just call me War Horse."
But the craziness started even earlier, thanks to Sacha Baron Cohen's antics on the red carpet, as the "Dictator" star doused Ryan Seacrest with human ashes (supposedly). Compared to that, even back-to-back red carpet appearances by Clooney and Brad Pitt -- not to mention a seemingly confused Nick Nolte -- failed to grab the spotlight.
A full list of winners and nominees can be found here.