The British monarchy saga "The King's Speech" won the 83rd Academy Awards' biggest prize, the Oscar for Best Picture.
A very pregnant Natalie Portman accepted the Academy Award for Best Actress for her role in "The Black Swan," and thanked her parents for teaching her to be "a good human being."
Colin Firth followed added a Best Actor win for "The King's Speech," telling the crowd, "I think my career just peaked," while thanking his wife for sticking with him in more trying times.
"The King's Speech" director Tom Hooper chipped in for the film with a Best Director Oscar, while Christian Bale and Melissa Leo earned supporting-acting honors for the boxing tale "The Fighter," capping off an Academy Awards show that, like Firth's career, had its share of peaks and valleys.
The Academy Awards got off to a rousing start when Hollywood legend Kirk Douglas brought down the house announcing the Best Supporting Actress Oscar had gone to Melissa Leo.
"You're much more beautiful than you were in 'The Fighter," Douglas joked.
Christian Bale followed her with a Best Supporting Actor win. Bale joked that he was keeping his language clean in his acceptance speech.
"Melissa, I'm not going to drop the F-bomb like she did," Bale said. "I've done that plenty of times before."
Leo had been bleeped out earlier during her own acceptance speech. Backstage, she conceded it was "probably a very inappropriate place to use that particular word."
Bale earned the same prize his Batman co-star, the late Heath Ledger, received posthumously two years ago for "The Dark Knight." At the time, Bale had fondly recalled a bit of professional envy as he watched Ledger perform on set like a whirlwind as the diabolical Joker while the film's star had to remain clenched up as the stoic, tightly wound Batman.
"The Fighter" gave Bale his turn to unleash some demons as Dicky Eklund, a boxer whose career unraveled amid crime and drug abuse. Bale delivers a showy performance full of tics and tremors, bobbing and weaving around the movie's star and producer, Mark Wahlberg, who plays Eklund's stolid brother, boxer Micky Ward.
The show began with some bobbing and weaving from the night's young, famous, much-debated hosts, Anne Hathaway and James Franco. The couple were engaging in their all-important Oscar introductory montage playing off of scenes from the night's nominated films in a send-up of the film "Inception."
They also poked fun at themselves. Hathaway joked that Franco was doing well appealing to "a younger demographic," while she rued the fact that she had gotten naked in "Love and Other Drugs," yet hadn't been nominated.
However, as the night went on, Franco often looked like he wanted to be anywhere but the Oscars stage. Hathaway pushed gamely on, but her nice-girl schtick quickly wore thin.
And she kept yelling "Woo!"
Cloying tributes to Bob Hope and Lena Horn didn't help their cause any, either.
Other big wins included "Toy Story 3," which won the Oscar for Best Animated Feature, and "The Social Network," which scored three Oscars including Aaron Sorkin's win for Adapted Screenplay. The Lewis Carroll update "Alice in Wonderland" won the night's first prize, claiming the Art Direction Oscar.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.