Kirk Baxter has won the Academy Award for Best Film Editing for his work with Angus Wall on The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.

It was an unexpected win for the editing partners, who were up against Oscar favourites Hugo and The Artist.

After a record of five Academy Award wins for Australians in 2011, Baxter and producer Grant Hill were the only two Australians gracing this year’s list of nominees.

It is the duo’s second win after taking away the same award last year for The Social Network. Baxter also received an Academy Award nomination for his editing with Angus Wall on The Curious Case of Benjamin Button in 2008, losing to Slumdog Millionare.

Grant Hill, who was one of five producers for Terrence Malick’s Tree of Life, received a nomination for Best Picture, losing to The Artist. It marks the second nomination for the Australian producer, who was first nominated for Malick's 1998 film The Thin Red Line.

Asghar Farhadi’s Iranian film, A Separation, received nominations in Best Original Screenplay and Best Foreign Language Film, winning the award in the former category.

The film had an Australian connection – it was able to reach completion due to a $25,000 cash grant provided by the Motion Picture Association in collaboration with Queensland’s Asia Pacific Screen Awards.

Bret McKenzie, one half of the New Zealand comedy duo Flight of the Concords, won the Academy Award for Best Original Song for Man or Muppet from The Muppets. His win marks New Zealand’s third Academy Award for a film that is not part of The Lord of the Rings trilogy.

The award for Best Picture was taken by Michel Hazanavicius’ silent romantic-comedy, The Artist. The black-and-white French film received a total of five awards on the night, including Best Actor in a Leading Role for Jean Dujardin, and Best Director for Hazanavicius.

Martin Scorsese’s 3D animated feature, Hugo, also took away five awards, largely commending its technical brilliance – for Cinematography, Art Direction, Sound Editing, Sound Mixing, and Visual Effects.

Meryl Streep received her 17th Oscar nomination and third win for her role as Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady, taking away the Best Actress in a Leading Role award.

Woody Allen received the award for Best Original Screenplay for Midnight in Paris, marking his fourth Academy Award win and 23rd nomination. The award for Best Adapted Screenplay went to Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon, and Jim Rash for The Descendants.

Full list of winners:

Cinematography: Robert Richardson, Hugo

Art Direction: Hugo

Costume Design: The Artist

Makeup: The Iron Lady

Foreign Language Film: A Separation, Iran

Film Editing: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Sound Editing: Hugo

Sound Mixing: Hugo

Documentary Feature: Undefeated

Animated Film: Rango

Visual Effects: Hugo

Actor in a Supporting Role: Christopher Plummer, Beginners

Original Score: Ludovic Bource, The Artist

Song: Bret McKenzie, “Man or Muppet”, The Muppets

Adapted Screenplay: Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon, Jim Rash, The Descendants

Original Screenplay: Woody Allen, Midnight in Paris

Live Action Short: The Shore

Documentary Short: Saving Face

Animated Short: The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr Morris Lessmore

Director: Michel Hazavanicius, The Artist

Actor in a Leading Role: Jean Dujardin, The Artist

Actress in a Leading Role: Meryl Streep, The Iron Lady

Picture: The Artist

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