was crowned best film at the 83rd
on Sunday night.
Nominated for 12 Oscars -- the most of any film -- it won four statuettes, including for
for lead actor, Tom Hooper for director, and David Seidler for original screenplay.
"I have a feeling my career just peaked," Firth deadpanned as he accepted the honor. It capped off a phenomenal year for Firth, who won practically every award out there for playing George VI's attempts to overcome his stuttering before he assumes the throne of England.
danced away with Oscar for playing a prima ballerina spinning into madness in
It has been a magical awards season for Portman, who had swept nearly every honor she was nominated for, and she has glowed every step of the way: Pregnant, Portman met her now fiance on set.
"This is insane. ... I'm so grateful to do the job that I do," Portman said.
"The King's Speech" and
were the big winners at the Kodak Theatre, with four Oscars apiece.
which was the biggest rival to "The King's Speech," went home with three Oscars.
and "Alice in Wonderland" all won two apiece.
's revisionist remake of the classic Western had earned 10 nominations, including best film, director, adapted screenplay, actor and supporting actress.
While audiences flocked to the movie and critics lauded it, it went home empty-handed. But the academy and the Western genre have always had an uneasy relationship, with only three Westerns ever winning best picture.
won supporting actor for his role as the drug-addicted former boxer in "The Fighter." "What the hell am I doing here in the midst of you?" Bale said, referring to all the talent in the room. He singled out his co-stars, including
who earlier had won for supporting actress for playing his mother in the film. But, Bale joked, "I'm not going to drop the
like she did." (Leo later apologized for the emotional slip.)
Bale and Leo were considered shoo-ins, and it was just two of many awards that went as expected.
Adapted screenplay went to
for "The Social Network," and original screenplay went to David Seidler for "The King's Speech." "Toy Story 3" won animated film and original song for
's "We Belong Together." Art direction went to production designer Robert Stromberg and set decorator Karen O'Hara for "Alice in Wonderland." Cinematography went to
for "Inception." Director
became only the third woman to win in the foreign language film category for
(Bier had won the
.) Original score went to
and Atticus Ross for "The Social Network," and "Inception" won for sound mixing and sound editing. Makeup went to
and costume design went to Colleen Atwood for "Alice in Wonderland."
Other honors given out were short subject
, which went to Karen Goodman and Kirk Simon for "Strangers No More," a film about a Tel Aviv school for children struggling to overcome adversity. Live action short went to "God of Love" by
, who thanked his mother for doing craft services during shooting the film about a modern-day Cupid.
handed out the Oscar for documentary feature to Charles Ferguson and Audrey Marrs for
about what caused the country's economic crisis. Ferguson noted that three years after the crisis, not a single financial executive has gone to jail, "and that's wrong," he said.
A surprise appearance by
, considered by many to be the best Oscar host over the past 20 years, earned a standing ovation. He introduced a tribute to the late
, who had hosted the awards 18 times. Through movie magic and some crafty dubbing, Hope was projected, hologram-like, at a podium to crack wise and introduce presenters
. The pair handed out Oscars for visual effects ("Inception") and editing ("The Social Network").
To lure younger audiences, the academy chose
, nominated for lead actor for
, nominated two years ago for lead actress for "
," as emcees.
The pair kicked off the show with a clever montage in which they were injected into the top Oscar-nominated films, including "Inception," "True Grit,"
"The King's Speech" and more. After taking a trip "Back to the Future," the couple ended up onstage for banter with each other -- and their mother and grandmother. A bit long perhaps but otherwise nonoffensive and kind of sweet.