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Hollywood honors 'The Artist' at Oscars

To conclude the film award season, the 84th Academy Awards, live on ABC, presented top 2011 movies with the highest honors. Billy Crystal hosted the glamorous Hollywood event for the ninth time at the Hollywood & Highland Center, Feb. 26.

After months leading up to the big moments, The Artist took home Best Picture. Jean Dujardin (The Artist) and Meryl Streep (The Iron Lady) received Actor and Actress in a Leading Role, and Directing went to The Artist‘s Michel Hazanavicius. Alongside them, Christopher Plummer (Beginners) and Octavia Spencer (The Help) won Actor and Actress in a Supporting Role, respectively.

Before the night’s most coveted awards were announced, however, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences recognized every area of filmmaking. Hugo took home Cinematography, Art Direction, Sound Editing and Sound Mixing. The Artist won Art Direction and The Iron Lady claimed Makeup.

An opening sketch opened the show depicting Crystal’s journey to host the Oscars, through all of the films. Although it featured many cameos, the humor fell a bit flat. However, he grabbed the attention back with a comedic musical number.

With so much experience hosting the Oscars, it seems like the writers were almost too confident in Crystal’s abilities, relying on his presence to be enough to keep the audience laughing. While Crystal was, as always, amusing, the writing could have been stronger. The best moments were those of Crystal’s improv.

The biggest scene-stealer was the Cirque Du Soleil performance, illustrating the nature of film. With acrobats swinging high above the crowd and flipping all around the stage, the crowd could not resist a well-deserved standing ovation.

Honorary Oscars were given to Dick Smith, James Earl Jones and Oprah Winfrey for their contributions and lifetime achievements to film.

For a full list of winners and nominations, visit the Academy Awards website.

For more coverage of TV and film awards, read the Jan. 15 article, Golden Globes celebrate ’11 film, TV.

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