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
    0

    Comment number 124.

    I am just glad to see a broadening of cultural horizons. It is great to see the growth of the likes of Scandi-slaughter books and telly series. Equally great to see the success of the likes of Spiral.

    I look forward to seeing our tv and cinemas following our bookshops' example, and decreasing the amount of Anglo/US product.

  • Comment number 123.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • rate this
    -3

    Comment number 122.

    It's interesting that if you added up the gross takings of all the Oscar nominated films this year they wouldn't come close to one of the films nominated for a Razzie. More often than not films winning an Oscar have been made for those involved with the film and not for the viewing public. I remember the 70s when film almost died and those in the film industry would do well to do likewise.

  • rate this
    +5

    Comment number 121.

    The Artist is the best film I have seen in a decade. Absolutely beautiful. For the first time I could understand something of the excitement of early cinema. The audience applauded at the end (something I only recall happening once or twice previously in 40 years of going to the cinema). I don't much care for the Oscars, but I am sure that the correct decision was made this year.

  • rate this
    -11

    Comment number 120.

    Rufus McDufus wrote:

    "Errm, the French were making movies before the Americans."

    Look up the history more properly before making such a simplistic black and white statement as that. Try also to put aside any anti-Americanism.

    Besides, my comment to the other person is about a French film riding on the success, history and culture of American cinema. Have you actually seen the film?

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 119.

    114. AllenT2
    I normally ignore people who insist on asking irrelevant questions,then run out of arguments and desperately try to harass the target of their scorn into answer in attempt to "win" a debate. When I saw The Artist, it revived my interest in French film. I like to think that Scorsese was similarly inspired to make Hugo. Probably not, but I like the idea that we have an affinity.

  • rate this
    +17

    Comment number 118.

    Billy Crystal summed it up in his opening monologue - "nothing can take the sting from the world's economic problems like watching millionaires present each other with golden statues." While I'm happy for some of the people who won the awards (particularly Christopher Plummer), this show doesn't even count as a distraction anymore. It's just Hollywood flaunting itself while America burns round it.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 117.

    The most famous quote from a film that won 10 Oscars, Gone With the Wind, springs to mind:
    "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn."

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 116.

    A little history lesson. America gained independence because the French fleet stopped the British reinforcing Cornwallis at Yorktown. So there you have it, the USA can thank the French for it's creation and for cinema.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 115.

    107. Balloon Rake
    The Oscars has to be the most over rated event that there is
    /////
    It's a marketing exercise, like the Brits. Adele's record sales shot up again after the last Brits. More people will now have heard and go and watch it, despite the little pocket of envious curmudgeons on here who would love to ban people from watching it because it's French.

  • rate this
    -6

    Comment number 114.

    Croc_o_bile Dundee wrote:

    "And movies set on Mars about life on Mars are credited to Martians?"

    Once again, how is a movie about American cinema history a tribute to French cinema? Can you answer the question?

    "My knowledge of film history is fully up to date, thank you very much."

    No, in my opinion it is largely clouded and distorted by bias.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 113.

    "79.
    AllenT2

    helo thar wrote:

    "Hugo was good, but someone should tell "The Artist" was just trying too hard. I mean, silent film, really?"

    Not to mention riding on America's cinematic past and culture to achieve success. "


    Errm, the French were making movies before the Americans.

  • rate this
    -2

    Comment number 112.

    Perhaps a Marsian evening away from the singeing turmoils of the earth. This was the flasing theatrics of the few for the few.

  • rate this
    -4

    Comment number 111.

    Every year there are great films I love that are overlooked. Only so often 1 I like wins. This year, the 4 films I loved best were Midnight in Paris & The Tree of Life, Margin Call; I loved Anonymous, even though some Brits took offence, not knowing much about the mysterious life of the amazing Earl of Oxford. I am not interested in seeing a B&W silent, however much money it saves to make. Sorry!

  • rate this
    +6

    Comment number 110.

    Fantastic. At least some of us agree that good movies are not always about CGI, 3D, vulgar humour, crass comedy, sex, unrealistic over-exaggerated action sequences or American patriotism.

    Nice to see something following on from the qualities that made Citizen Kane the number one rated film of all-time.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 109.

    I had to turn off BBC breakfast this morning as I got completely fed up with the coverage of this annual ass kissing ceremony.
    I don't think many of us care who wins what for films we'll probably never watch.
    So is that it for another year?

  • rate this
    +5

    Comment number 108.

    The whole thing is tawdry and an example of US excess, the red carpet shots, where they are preening themselves whilst being dressed as human christmas trees are hillarious, they look ridiculas !, what must the watching world really think ...no class whatsoever, dear oh dear

  • rate this
    +5

    Comment number 107.

    The Oscars has to be the most over rated event that there is, why people get all excited about it is ridiculous, at the end of the day this is just actors, directors, and other people involved in the film industry getting awards for the job they do, so it’s just an souped up version of an awards ceremony of people getting awards for everyday jobs.

  • rate this
    +9

    Comment number 106.

    39. Job13_2

    Spot on! Acting is a demeaning profession in that actors are pretending to be people they are not.

    --

    Writes someone who is hiding behind the pseudonym Job13_2.

    Priceless!

  • rate this
    +5

    Comment number 105.

    95. AllenT2
    You don't see the irony of promoting French "cinematic history and culture" with a film set that is set in Hollywood about America's cinematic history and culture?
    /////
    It's a FRENCH movie, by a FRENCH director with FRENCH actors. Even it were set on Mars, it'd still be a FRENCH movie.

 

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