POSTED: Monday, February 27, 2012 - 3:36pm
UPDATED: Monday, February 27, 2012 - 4:14pm
Hollywood's biggest night was a big sweep for "The Artist."
"The Artist" swept the Academy Awards' top three honors, winning Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actor for Jean Dujardin.
Dujardin is the first Frenchman ever to win an acting Oscar - and "The Artist" became only the second silent film to take the Academy's top prize, and the first since 1929.
Another first: Best Supporting Actor Christopher Plummer, who is now the oldest actor ever to win an Oscar, at the age of 82.
Meryl Streep added a third Oscar to her mantle, with her Best Actress win for "The Iron Lady."
She beat out rival Viola Davis of "The Help", who was widely expected to win the category.
Best Supporting Actress went to Octavia Spencer, who got so emotional she couldn't finish her speech.
Another highlight of the evening was Billy Crystal, who returned as host after an eight year absence.
Another first for Oscar this year was the number of Best Picture nominees: There were nine, compared to the previous two years when there were ten, and years before that when it was only five.
Best Original Screenplay went to Woody Allen for "Midnight in Paris" and Adapted Screenplay went to Alexander Payne's "The Descendants."