|There were few surprises among winners at the 83rd Annual Academy Awards [GALLO/GETTY]
'The King's Speech' has been crowned the big winner with four Oscars, including best film and best actor for its star Colin Firth.
There were few surprises among winners at the top movie awards, on Sunday, as Natalie Portman claimed the best actress Academy Award for her portrayal of a young ballerina who grows into womanhood in 'Black Swan'.
Firth won over Jeff Bridges in 'True Grit', Jesse Eisenberg in 'The Social Network', James Franco in '127 Hours' and Spanish heart-throb Javier Bardem in 'Biutiful'.
Meanwhile, Portman's rivals for best actress were veteran Annette Bening in 'The Kids Are All Right', Nicole Kidman for 'Rabbit Hole', Jennifer Lawrence in 'Winter's Bone' and Michelle Williams in 'Blue Valentine'.
Tom Hooper, the film's director and David Seidler, its screenwriter also won awards for their contribution to the Academy winner. 'The King's Speech'.
"We have a voice, we have been heard," Seidler said, echoing a key phrase from the movie.
And Melissa Leo and Christian Bale, who had both been frontrunners in their category, won best supporting actress and actor, respectively, for 'The Fighter'.
Portman wiped tears from her eyes onstage while cradling her gold statuette. She thanked her family, co-stars and director Darren Aronofsky.
"This is insane," she said, "and I truly, sincerely wish the prize was to get to work with my fellow nominees."
Firth won best actor for playing stammering British King George VI in 'King's Speech', which showed how the monarch had to overcome his speech impediment to lead his country.
"I have a feeling my career just peaked," Firth joked.
When Hooper was named best director, he thanked his mom for being first to suggest he make 'The King's Speech'. "The moral of the story is, listen to your mother," Hooper said.
Among other key winners were Toy Story 3, a family comedy for best animated feature, 'Inside Job', a Wall Street meltdown movie and Denmark's 'In a Better World', took the prize for foreign language film.
Awards were split among a wide array of films.
'Inception', a science fiction thriller claimed four Oscars in categories for cinematography, sound editing, sound mixing and visual effects.
Meanwhile, 'The Social Network', a film about the social media site, Facebook, claimed three awards for original score, film editing and adapted screenplay for its writer Aaron Sorkin.
But David Fincher, the movie's director, left the ceremony empty-handed. In fact, Fincher's loss to Hooper was the only mild surprise among top awards as many pundits thought the Hollywood veteran would beat relative newcomer Hooper.
The world's top film honours ceremony came packed with a lot of comedy onstage from show hosts Anne Hathaway, who at 28 is the youngest host in Oscar history, and James Franco, also nominated in the best actor category.
Franco and Hathaway, the first man and woman team to host the Oscars, got the show started in a pre-taped sequence in which they entered the "dreams" of Alec Baldwin much like the characters of 'Inception' entered the dreams of other people.
From there, the pair travelled back to scenes with other top movie nominees such as 'True Grit', 'The Social Network', 'The Fighter' and 'The King's Speech', cracking wise.
Many sequences harkened back to Hollywood's history with film clips from 'Gone With the Wind', 'Titanic' and other films.
And top actresses dazzled on the red carpet with bright and colorful fashion choices, a turnaround from more muted styles of recent years that reflected the world's economic woes.
Al Jazeera's Rob Reynolds reported from the red carpet, "It was the year of some very dark films like 'Black Swan' and 'Biutiful' and 'The Social Network,' which has a very ambiguous moral message.
"However, the highest grossing film was an animated feature, Toy Story 3, which was for kids."
Source: Al Jazeera and agencies