The Artist triumphs at the Oscars

The cast of the Oscar-winning best picture The Artist The cast and crew of The Artist had good reason to celebrate with five awards

Silent movie The Artist has triumphed at the Oscars, winning five awards including best picture, best director and best actor for Jean Dujardin.

Director Michel Hazanavicius - winning on his first ever nomination - thanked the dog, Uggie, who appears in the film but added: "I don't think he cares."

Dujardin said of his character: "If George Valentin could speak, he would say 'Wow! Victorie! Genial! Merci!'"

The film also won the Oscars for best original score and best costumes.

Martin Scorsese's Hugo also won five Oscars, mainly in technical categories.

Meryl Streep won best actress for her portrayal of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady - her 17th Oscar nomination and third Oscar win.

Meryl Streep Streep won a third Oscar, having been nominated 17 times

She thanked the Academy "for this inexplicably wonderful career".

"When they called my name I had this feeling I could hear half of America going: 'Aww no. Not her again'. But, you know, whatever.

"I look out here and I see my life before my eyes. My old friends, my new friends. This is such a great honour but the thing that counts the most for me is the friendships… Thank you. All of you, departed and here," she added.

Dujardin broke into his native French language in celebration shouting: "Wow, victory!"

"Thank you to the Academy. It's funny because in 1929, it wasn't Billy Crystal but Douglas Fairbanks who hosted the first Oscars ceremony. Tickets cost $5 and it lasted 15 minutes. Times have changed."

1929 was the last year that a silent movie won an Oscar.

Most Oscar wins

  • The Artist - 5
  • Hugo - 5
  • Iron Lady - 2

Canadian actor Christopher Plummer became the oldest Oscar winner at 82 by taking the best supporting actor prize.

He was widely tipped to win for his portrayal of a father who comes out as a gay man after his wife dies in Beginners.

Plummer thanked his real-life wife who, he said, deserved "the Nobel Peace Prize for coming to my rescue every day".

The Help's Octavia Spencer won the best supporting actress Oscar and gave an emotional acceptance speech, receiving a standing ovation from the audience.

Jean Dujardin picks up best actor, and Meryl Streep best actress, at the Oscars. Clip Courtesy A.M.P.A.S. © 2012

"Thank you Steven Spielberg for changing my life...oh my God, thank you... I'm freaking out," she told the audience, after struggling up to the stage in a floor-length gown.

Best adapted screenplay went to Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon and Jim Rash for The Descendants, starring George Clooney.

Veteran screenwriter and director Woody Allen won best original screenplay for Midnight in Paris but was not there to collect the award.

Muppets win

The first two awards of the night went to Hugo for cinematography and art direction.

Robert Richardson was cinematographer on Martin Scorsese's 3D film and Francesca Lo Schiavo was art director.

And later, the film about an orphan who lives in a train station picked up a further three Oscars, all in technical categories.

Best sound editing was won by Philip Stockton and Eugene Gearty.

Hugo's Tom Fleishman and John Midgley won the Oscar for sound mixing and the film also picked up the award for best visual effects.

Rango won best animation, a first Academy award and nomination for director Gore Verbinski, who said it was "made by grown-ups acting like a bunch of children".

The film features the voice of Johnny Depp, who plays a chameleon.

Best animated short film was The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr Morris Lessmore.

The Oscar for costume design went to Mark Bridges for The Artist, who thanked the Academy "for making a lifelong dream come true".

The best make-up prize went to J Roy Helland and British artist Mark Coulier for The Iron Lady.

Iran's A Separation became the first Iranian film to win an Oscar when Sandra Bullock presented director Asghar Farhadi with best foreign language film.

Set in contemporary Iran, it tells the story of a marriage break-down.

Best film editing went to Kirk Baxter and Angus Wall for Girl with the Dragon Tattoo - the pair also won last year for The Social Network. Both films were directed by David Fincher.

The Oscar for best original song was won by Bret Mackenzie for Man or Muppet from the soundtrack to The Muppets.

Octavia Spencer Spencer cried as she was given the famous statuette

Best documentary went to Undefeated, a film about an inner city American football team whose fortunes are turned around by a new coach.

The executive producer of the film was rapper Sean 'P Diddy' Combs.

Cohen stunt

Northern Ireland film The Shore won the best live action short film.

Saving Face, about a British-Pakistani doctor who helps women who have been injured in acid attacks, won best documentary short.

Earlier, Morgan Freeman introduced the evening before a comic video was shown of George Clooney waking up host Billy Crystal with a kiss - in a parody of his nominated film The Descendants.

Freeman said: "All of us are mesmerised by the magic of the movies. This magnificent event allows us to celebrate the present and look back at its magnificent past."

Crystal hosted the 84th Oscars ceremony at the Kodak theatre in Los Angeles.

He joked: "This is my ninth time - just call me War Horse."

On the red carpet, British comedy actor Sacha Baron Cohen turned up dressed in a white military uniform and sporting a beard and sunglasses, promoting his upcoming film The Dictator.

Cohen arrived holding an urn he jokingly claimed contained the ashes of Kim Jong Il, the late leader of North Korea.

Cohen then tipped the container on to American Idol host Ryan Seacrest.


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  • rate this

    Comment number 64.

    I can't take the results of an award ceremony that is voted on almost exclusively by a bunch of white, middle-aged males seriously, I'm afraid. Nor do I have much interest in a bunch of people already obscenely over-rewarded for what they do indulge in a fest of back-slapping. I do wish this appalling cult of celebs would wither and die. It's an abomination that harms our society tremendously.

  • rate this

    Comment number 63.

    I seem to be not the only one who really doesn't care for the "back-slapping" syncophantic spectacle of the Bafta/Golden globe/Oscar/Palm d'Ore ceremonies. Yes! Meryl Streep is a fantastic Actress, but didn't her fee compensate her? I have never understood the "Cult Hero/Celebrity thing, there are millions of ordinary people doing extraordinary things in the "real" world! Get a life!

  • rate this

    Comment number 62.

    To 53. Desiderius Erasmus: Actually, Patton did win the Oscar in 1970. To me it seems more like 1959 when Gigi beat The Defiant Ones; or 2006 when Crash beat Brokeback Mountain and Capote.

  • rate this

    Comment number 61.

    As the British performance was abysmal this year (apart from best costume for an extra) can we expect the BBC to demand their highly paid, luvvy friends take a 50% cut in their income for the year? And if a film tanks at the box office why are the lead actors in it not expected to give back half their salary for it? If it's good enough for bankers....

  • rate this

    Comment number 60.

    @Name Number 6 Yes fair point, however we constantly knock success and acheivement, yet still watch all of these films and movie stars.

    Entertaiment for me is very important and more so in tough times, it's a little light relief whilst forgetting about tough times.

  • rate this

    Comment number 59.

    Too many pre-Oscar awards are diluting the importance of the Oscars.

  • rate this

    Comment number 58.

    The Artist is the best film in a long time - well deserving of the hype and the awards it has won so far.

  • rate this

    Comment number 57.

    To those whining about it being a bunch of millionaires, some reality: Yes, most of the big stars are quite well off, but most actors (not to mention editors, set designers, writers, etc), even some quite good ones, are middle class or lower. Most go to auditions desperately needing the gig, and if they get it, never know if they'll get another, and need other kinds of work to get by.

  • rate this

    Comment number 56.

    All I see is Nero fiddling while Rome burns...

  • rate this

    Comment number 55.

    Really? how nice for them. Honestly - who cares. I would like to use the BBC website for news. any chance of that? No because as with every other media outfit in this country, the BBC just appeals to the common denominator.

  • rate this

    Comment number 54.

    The artist is a clever little piece of work that plays on our nostalgia, it wont be repeated for the next 50 years if ever.I doubt it will be a huge box office smash and the public will struggle to remember it in 12 months time. Personally I prefer it if someone would dust off a few original silent movies and show those.

  • rate this

    Comment number 53.

    Strange - a film with no dialogue is best movie and an actor with no lines is the best actor. Its likely to be one of those awards that a few years later seem perverse - 1970 when 'Airport' was best film springs to mind (other nominees inc 'Five Easy Pieces', 'MASH' & 'Patton').

    NB: What does the award say to the screenwriters guild?

  • rate this

    Comment number 52.

    I don't normally say anything positive about award ceremonies but I was very pleased it was on last night because I had a bad night and woke up at 3am and there was nothing else to watch. Positively though, acting is an art and if we didn't have art then surely most of the bloggers on this list would be even more miserable!

  • rate this

    Comment number 51.

    Scaling new heights of pretentiousness and excelling in bottom of barrel scraping, this year’s Oscars are a magnificent Hollywood tribute to the cult of me. Raising the standards on mediocrity and blandness to all time highs, stars (?) cast aside any sense of moral decency and offered themselves over as two second trophies of ineptitude.

  • rate this

    Comment number 50.

    The Meryl/Thather role was far too formuliac Oscar winner Hollywood machine product, on the tail-coat of the British film The Queen. Shame Streep could not get a real authentically innovative acting role...about genuine people

  • rate this

    Comment number 49.

    How can you take seriously an awards that did not even give a nomination to the best documentry, Senna. Is it because it was about formula 1 and not basket or base ball. The Oscars are just the same back slapping as all the rest of the awards. Why should people get an award for doing their job well. Isn't that what they get paid for?

  • rate this

    Comment number 48.

    44. grumpysleepless
    A real tragedy about her current state of health, same fate as Raygun as I recall. It really does seem that what goes around comes around.
    Shame though I really did admire the way she ripped the heart out of the UK regions whilst strengthening, reinforcing & commencing the deregulation of the banks & the finance sector.

    We certainly have a lot to thank her for ;)

  • rate this

    Comment number 47.

    Had to turn off BBC Breakfast with its constanti Oscars drivel.
    They have constantly built up to the great day over the last few weeks.
    When will they realise that the majority of people have little interest in this annual back slapping ceromony which is so predictable!

  • rate this

    Comment number 46.

    I found The Artist a tedious piece of tripe. Once the snowball of hype had grown to the size of the continent of Australia, there was no stopping it, I suppose. Meryl Streep was excellent in The Iron Lady, but the film itself wasn't very cinematic and its low budget was exposed by the way the clunky screenplay had been structured, keeping a reminiscing Maggie in her house most of the time.

  • rate this

    Comment number 45.

    Another yawn fest from the world of self-obsessed luvvies. Frankly who cares watching these vacuous one dimensional caricatures, parade their tawdry wares on the worlds stage.


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