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Black and white film The Artist has triumphed at the Oscars, winning five awards including best picture, best director and best actor for Jean Dujardin.

Michel Hazanavicius , The Artist director- winning on his first ever nomination – thanked the dog, Uggie, who appears in the film but added: “I don’t think he cares.”

Jean Dujardin said of his character: “If George Valentin could speak, he would say <<Wow! Victorie! Genial! Merci!>>”

The Artist also won the Oscars for best original score and best costumes.

Martin Scorsese’s Hugo also won five Oscars, mainly in technical categories.

Meryl Streep won best actress for her portrayal of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady – her 17th Oscar nomination and third Oscar win.

The actress thanked the Academy “for this inexplicably wonderful career”.

“When they called my name I had this feeling I could hear half of America going: <<Aww no. Not her again>>. But, you know, whatever.

“I look out here and I see my life before my eyes. My old friends, my new friends. This is such a great honor but the thing that counts the most for me is the friendships… Thank you. All of you, departed and here.”

Meryl Streep won best actress for her portrayal of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady - her 17th Oscar nomination and third Oscar win

Meryl Streep won best actress for her portrayal of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady - her 17th Oscar nomination and third Oscar win

Jean Dujardin broke into his native French language in celebration shouting: “Wow, victory!”

“Thank you to the Academy. It’s funny because in 1929, it wasn’t Billy Crystal but Douglas Fairbanks who hosted the first Oscars ceremony. Tickets cost $5 and it lasted 15 minutes. Times have changed.”

1929 was the last year that a silent movie won an Oscar.

Canadian actor Christopher Plummer became the oldest Oscar winner at 82 by taking the best supporting actor prize.

He was widely tipped to win for his portrayal of a father who comes out as a gay man after his wife dies in Beginners.

Christopher Plummer thanked his real-life wife who, he said, deserved “the Nobel Peace Prize for coming to my rescue every day”.

The Help‘s Octavia Spencer won the best supporting actress Oscar and gave an emotional acceptance speech, receiving a standing ovation from the audience.

“Thank you Steven Spielberg for changing my life…oh my God, thank you… I’m freaking out,” Octavia Spencer told the audience, after struggling up to the stage in a floor-length gown.

Best adapted screenplay went to Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon and Jim Rash for The Descendants, starring George Clooney.

Veteran screenwriter and director Woody Allen won best original screenplay for Midnight in Paris but was not there to collect the award.

The first two awards of the night went to Hugo for cinematography and art direction.

Robert Richardson was cinematographer on Martin Scorsese’s 3D film and Francesca Lo Schiavo was art director.

And later, the film about an orphan who lives in a train station picked up a further three Oscars, all in technical categories.

Best sound editing was won by Philip Stockton and Eugene Gearty.

Hugo’s Tom Fleishman and John Midgley won the Oscar for sound mixing and the film also picked up the award for best visual effects.

Rango won best animation, a first Academy award and nomination for director Gore Verbinski, who said it was “made by grown-ups acting like a bunch of children”.

The film features the voice of Johnny Depp, who plays a chameleon.

Best animated short film was The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore.

The Oscar for costume design went to Mark Bridges for The Artist, who thanked the Academy “for making a lifelong dream come true”.

The best make-up prize went to J Roy Helland and British artist Mark Coulier for The Iron Lady.

Iran’s A Separation became the first Iranian film to win an Oscar when Sandra Bullock presented director Asghar Farhadi with best foreign language film.

Set in contemporary Iran, it tells the story of a marriage break-down.

Best film editing went to Kirk Baxter and Angus Wall for Girl with the Dragon Tattoo – the pair also won last year for The Social Network. Both films were directed by David Fincher.

The Oscar for best original song was won by Bret Mackenzie for Man or Muppet from the soundtrack to The Muppets.

Best documentary went to Undefeated, a film about an inner city American football team whose fortunes are turned around by a new coach.

The executive producer of the film was rapper Sean “P Diddy” Combs.

Northern Ireland film The Shore won the best live action short film.

Saving Face, about a British-Pakastani doctor who helps women who have been injured in acid attacks, won best documentary short.

Earlier, Morgan Freeman introduced the evening before a comic video was shown of George Clooney waking up host Billy Crystal with a kiss – in a parody of his nominated film The Descendants.

Freeman said: “All of us are mesmerized by the magic of the movies. This magnificent event allows us to celebrate the present and look back at its magnificent past”.

Billy Crystal hosted the 84th Oscars ceremony at the Kodak theatre in Los Angeles.

He joked: “This is my ninth time – just call me War Horse.”

On the red carpet, British comedy actor Sacha Baron Cohen turned up dressed in a white military uniform and sporting a beard and sunglasses, promoting his upcoming film The Dictator.

Sacha Baron Cohen arrived holding an urn he jokingly claimed contained the ashes of Kim Jong Il, the late leader of North Korea.

He then tipped the container on to American Idol host Ryan Seacrest.

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Sunday night’s ceremony of Golden Globes 2012 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel built momentum for some actors on the Oscar trail.

Hollywood celebrated a foreign invasion at 69th Annual Golden Globes Awards, as films and television shows with a distinctly international pedigree collected many of the evening’s prizes.

The Artist, the black and white silent film, took home three prizes from the Golden Globe awards in Los Angeles, hosted by British comedian Ricky Gervais.

The Oscar-tipped movie was named best comedy and won additional prizes for lead actor Jean Dujardin and its score.

The Descendants was named best film drama and won a best actor prize for its star George Clooney.

Other lead actor awards went to Meryl Streep for The Iron Lady and Michelle Williams for My Week with Marilyn.

Meryl Streep, who plays Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady, thanked “everyone in England who let me come over there and trample over their history”.

Michelle Williams, recognized for her portrayal of Marilyn Monroe, thanked the Globes for “putting in my hand the same award you put in Marilyn’s hand more than 50 years ago”.

The Artist, the black and white silent film, took home three prizes from the Golden Globe awards in Los Angeles

The Artist, the black and white silent film, took home three prizes from the Golden Globe awards in Los Angeles

Martin Scorsese was named best director for Hugo, a family film that marked his first 3D feature, while Steven Spielberg received the animated feature prize for The Adventures of Tintin.

Veteran actor Christopher Plummer won the evening’s first award for his supporting role in Beginners.

The female equivalent went to Octavia Spencer for her role as a domestic servant in The Help.

Pop star Madonna was recognized for Masterpiece, a song she wrote for her historical drama W.E.

Iran’s A Separation received the award for best foreign language film, while Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris won best screenplay.

It was a good night for British talent in the television categories, which saw ITV1 period drama Downton Abbey named best mini-series.

“How fabulous this is,” said series creator Julian Fellowes.

“The whole Downton Abbey adventure has been an extraordinary one, like spotting a promising child and waking up to find they won the Olympics.”

Britain’s Idris Elba collected a best actor prize for BBC One crime drama Luther, while Kate Winslet was recognised for HBO mini-series Mildred Pierce.

Amidst the celebration and back-slapping, though, a poignant note was struck by Peter Dinklage as he picked up a supporting actor prize for Game of Thrones.

The US actor, who has dwarfism, ended his speech by paying tribute to Martin Henderson, a man with restricted growth from Somerset.

The 37-year-old was left with serious back injuries after being picked up and dropped on the ground outside a pub last October.

Ricky Gervais, criticized last year with his sharp-tongued presenting style, opened the ceremony with a waspish monologue.

Yet while he was briefly silenced for swearing, his barbs were not as cutting as they were 12 months ago.

The 50-year-old began the night by telling the star-studded audience the Globes were “just like the Oscars… without all that esteem”.

The event, he continued, was to the Oscars “what [reality TV star] Kim Kardashian is to [Duchess of Cambridge] Kate Middleton – a bit louder, a bit trashier [and] a bit drunker.”

The Office co-creator said he had been given strict instructions by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA), organisers of the ceremony.

“The Hollywood Foreign Press has warned me that if I insult anybody… they’ll definitely have me back next year,” he joked.

Johnny Depp, Dame Helen Mirren and Colin Firth were a few of the stars who received a gentle ribbing over the course of the evening.

Yet the comedian got as good as he gave later when he introduced Madonna with a reference to her song Like a Virgin.

“If I’m like a virgin, Ricky, why don’t you come over here and do something about it,” joked the pop star turned director.

The Golden Globes is one of the first major awards ceremonies in the run-up to the Oscars, to be held this year on 26 February.

Both films and TV shows are recognized, with separate categories for dramas, comedies and mini-series or motion pictures made for television.

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