Daniel Day-Lewis made history, while Ben Affleck's Argo won the top prize at the 2013 Academy Awards.
Adele was another Oscar winner with her James Bond theme Skyfall, while Jennifer Lawrence, Anne Hathaway and Quentin Tarantino also went home with a coveted golden statuette.
Day-Lewis became the first man to win the best actor gong three times, as he picked up the award for his performance in Lincoln. Accepting the Oscar from Meryl Streep, he said: "I really don't know how any of this happened, I do know I've received more than my fair share of good fortune in my life".
The nominees for best film were introduced by first lady Michelle Obama from the White House, before she named Argo as the winner. Director and star Ben Affleck paid tribute to the "genius" Steven Spielberg whose film, Lincoln, lost out in the category.
The Oscar for best actress went to Jennifer Lawrence for Silver Linings Playbook.The star, who stumbled on her way to the stage, said: "You guys are just standing up because you feel bad that I fell over and that's embarrassing."
Adele and songwriting partner Paul Epworth won the Oscar for best original song for the Bond theme Skyfall while the Oscar for best original score went to Mychael Danna for Life of Pi. A tearful Adele thanked Epworth for "believing in me all the time, and my man, I love you baby".
Anne Hathaway won the gong for best supporting actress for her role in Les Miserables, while Christoph Waltz was named best supporting actor for Django Unchained and praised the film's director and his "hero" Quentin Tarantino for his work on the western. Tarantino then picked up the best original screenplay gong for the film.
Ang Lee won the best director Oscar for Life Of Pi and the award for adapted screenplay went to Chris Terrio for Argo. The award for costume design went to British designer Jacqueline Durran for Anna Karenina and there was another UK win when the Oscar for make-up and hairstyling was won by Lisa Westcott and Julie Dartnell for Les Miserables.
Host Seth MacFarlane brought song and dance to the ceremony with the help of William Shatner as Star Trek's Captain Kirk and Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe. There was also a James Bond special feature, including a performance of Goldfinger by Dame Shirley Bassey and a celebration of movie musicals, featuring numbers from Chicago, DreamGirls and Les Miserables.