Last night's Academy Awards ceremony was a hotly contested one, with few categories seeming to have guaranteed winners stamped before they were announced. The Artist was the big success of the evening. The silent film brought home five Oscars last night, including the coveted Best Picture Prize, fighting off staunch competition from The Descendant, The Tree of Life, Moneyball, Midnight in Paris, Hugo, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close and The Help.
Jean Dujardin won the Best Actor prize for his lead role in The Artist, part-proving the theory that the Golden Globes are a good indicator of how which way the Oscars will swing. The Artist also took home the Director's prize for Michel Hazanavicius, the Oscar for Music (Original Score) and Costume Design. The Best Actress Oscar was equally close, though many predicted that the prize would go to either Meryl Streep (for The Iron Lady) or Viola Davis (for The Help). Streep eventually took the prize home, though Davis' co-star Octavia Spencer landed the prize for Best Supporting Actress, ensuring the film didn't go unnoticed. The Best Supporting Actor prize had, for many, become a race between the octogenarians Christopher Plummer and Max Von Sydow, with Christopher Plummer triumphing, for his performance as Hal Fields, an elderly father who leaves it until late in life to tell his son that he's homosexual.
Martin Scorsese's Hugo was expected to take a few of the statuettes home last night and the family-friendly tale eventually won Best Cinematography award and the awards for Art Direction and Visual Effects. The film also did remarkably well in the sound department, taking home the awards for Sound Editing and Sound Mixing.

Complete list of 2012 Academy Award Winners
Actor in a Leading Role - Jean Dujardin in "The Artist"
Actor in a Supporting Role - Christopher Plummer in "Beginners"
Actress in a Leading Role - Meryl Streep in "The Iron Lady"
Actress in a Supporting Role - Octavia Spencer in "The Help"
Animated Feature Film - "Rango" Gore Verbinski
Art Direction - "Hugo" Production Design: Dante Ferretti; Set Decoration: Francesca Lo Schiavo
Cinematography - "Hugo" Robert Richardson
Costume Design - "The Artist" Mark Bridges
Directing - "The Artist" Michel Hazanavicius
Documentary (Feature) - "Undefeated" TJ Martin, Dan Lindsay and Rich Middlemas
Documentary (Short Subject) - "Saving Face" Daniel Junge and Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy
Film Editing - "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" Kirk Baxter and Angus Wall
Foreign Language Film - "A Separation" Iran
Makeup - "The Iron Lady" Mark Coulier and J. Roy Helland
Music (Original Score) - "The Artist" Ludovic Bource
Music (Original Song) - "Man or Muppet" from "The Muppets" Music and Lyric by Bret MCKenzie
Best Picture - "The Artist" Thomas Langmann, Producer
Short Film (Animated) - "The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore" William Joyce and Brandon Oldenburg
Short Film (Live Action) - "The Shore" Terry George and Oorlagh George
Sound Editing - "Hugo" Philip Stockton and Eugene Gearty
Sound Mixing - "Hugo" Tom Fleischman and John Midgley
Visual Effects - "Hugo" Rob Legato, Joss Williams, Ben Grossmann and Alex Henning
Writing (Adapted Screenplay) - "The Descendants" Screenplay by Alexander Payne and Nat Faxon & Jim Rash
Writing (Original Screenplay) - "Midnight in Paris" Written by Woody Allen