The broadcast kicked off Sunday night with a parody featuring Billy Crystal and many of the Best Picture nominees. But it wasn't long before Martin Scorsese's "Hugo" took an early lead in the early production awards.
Crystal took the stage at the theater formerly known as Kodak and quipped "We're here at the beautiful Chapter 11 theater," with a nod to the camera company who recently filed for bankruptcy.
The first two awards of the evening was for cinematography and art direction went, not to perceived front-runner "The Artist," but to "Hugo"s' Robert Richardson for "Hugo" and Dante Ferretti.
That was followed later by wins in the sound editing category for Philip Stockton and Eugene Gearty and sound mixing for Tom Fleischman and John Midgley.
Oscar voters went with a nostalgic look at the early days of the movie business on Sunday night, showering "The Artist" with five Oscars including Best Picture.
After starting slow and losing several technical awards to rival "Hugo," the black and white silent film came roaring back at Sunday's 84th Academy Awards.
The film won a Best Director Oscar for Michel Hazanavicius and a Best Actor statue for Jean Dujardin.
The French actor held off challenges from George Clooney ("The Descendants") and Brad Pitt ("Moneyball") to win the honor for his performance as a silent film star struggling with the advent of sound.
Meryl Streep won Best Actress for her role in "The Iron Lady," portraying former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. It was her third win in 17 nominations and 1st since 1982.
Actor Christopher Plummer won "Best Supporting Actor" for his role in "Beginners," becoming the oldest person to win an Academy Award at age 82. Actress Octavia Spencer won Best Supporting Actress for The Help.
Famed acrobatic group Cirque du Soleil gave the crowd a dazzling performance and Grammy award winning artist Esperanza Spalding serenaded the crowd during a tribute in memoriam who contributed to the film industry.
Overall, the 84th Academy Awards was without a doubt an evening of surprises and absolute class.