Plummer made it a clean sweep for the year, winning a Golden Globe and the Independent Spirit Award for the role. He has won two Emmys, two Tonys, and a Genie.
"You're only two years older than me darling, where have you been all of my life?" Plummer asked.
At 82, Plummer became the oldest person to ever win an Oscar. His film career started in 1957. He has had a number of distinguished roles, including "The Sound of Music" and "The Insider."
Plummer had been nominated in all three categories in 2009 for his role as Leo Tolstoy in "The Last Station."
His speech was short and gracious, similar in fact to the speech at the Independent Spirit Awards. Plummer spoke a little French, emphasizing his bilingual Canadianness.
While Canadians have won relatively minor Oscar awards over the years, the last Canadian to win a major acting award was Anna Paquin. While Paquin grew up in New Zealand, she was born in Winnipeg. Paquin won the Best Supporting Actress award in 1993 for "The Piano."
James Cameron won the Best Director award for Titanic in 1997.
"Monsieur Lazhar" and "In Darkness" were long shots to win Best Foreign Language Film, as "A Separation" from Iran was the heavy favorite. "A Separation" turned out to be the winner.
"Monsieur Lazhar" was Canada's official nomination; "In Darkness" was Poland's nominee, but was a Canadian-German-Polish co-production. The story, in case you don't know this, is that Telefilm, Canada's film agency, took back its more than $1 million because the film wasn't made in English or French, according to the Telefilm mandate. The Canadian producers scrambled and came up with replacement funding.
"Barbarian Invasions" is still the only Canadian winner in this category from Denys Arcand in 2003.
Other nominees in "lesser" categories that did not win included "Dimanche/Sunday" and "Wild Life" for Animated Short Film, and Howard Shore "Hugo" for original score finalist.
Other Canadian highlights included an appearance by Justin Bieber in the beginning as a way to bring in younger demos, and Cirque de Soleil.
Michele Williams was nominated for Best Actress for "My Week With Marilyn" but did not win. Williams won the Independent Spirit Award for the role. We generously hope that Williams is nominated next year for "Take This Waltz" by Sarah Polley. I honestly think this is Williams' best work, and that is saying something. We will see as the film gets to some American theatres in 2012.
photo credit: Getty Images