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Artist dominates a tight fought Oscars

Artist dominates a tight fought Oscars

Artist dominates a tight fought Oscars

The Artist has taken five Academy Awards at the Oscars ceremony in Hollywood, the same number as Hugo, but the black-and-white film won the categories that counted.

The Artist was the only the second silent film to win the Best Picture Oscar; the last time this happened was the very first recipient of the award, Wings in 1929.

The film also picked up the – as expected – the awards for Best Director for Michel Hazanivicius and Best Actor, Jean Dujardin who’s picked up the corresponding honour at all of the major ceremonies of awards season – except the Cesars in France. The film also won the trophies for Best Costume and Best Score.

But against the expectation of many commentators, the film missed out on the award for Best Original Screenplay, to Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris – the film-maker’s first Oscar win since Hannah and Her Sisters, twenty five years ago. The director of The Descendants, Alexander Payne, won the Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar, with his writing partners, Nat Faxon and Jim Rash.

The only other surrpise of the night was in the Best Actress category. At the star of Awards Season, with the Golden Globes nominations, Meryl Streep was the favourite for the Oscars, for her portrayal of Lady Thatcher. But when the Screen Actors Guild picked The Help’s Viola Davis as their winner, the Academy, which includes a large number of actors, was expected to follow suit – but it didn’t. “I could hear half of America saying ‘Not her again!'” joked Streep as she collected her third Oscar from seventeen nominations. Her make-up team also won the Academy Award.

The supporting categories were more predictable, with Christopher Plummer winning for Beginners and Octavia Spencer for The Help.

It was in the technical categories where Hugo swept the board, taking Best Cinematography, Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Mixing, Best Visual Effects and Best Art Direction. The only other technical winner was The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, for Best Editing.

The Best Documentaries went to Undefeated in the feature category and Saving Face for the short. In the other short film categories, there was one of the few British tastes of success. Belfast’s Terry George won the Best Live Action short for The Shore, but Grant Orchard and Sue Goffe missed out in the Best Animated Short category to The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr Morris Lessmore.

One of the wittier acceptance speeches in a show brought to life by returning host Billy Crystal’s gentle but cutting humour was from one half of The Flight of the Conchords, Bret McKenzie, who won an Oscar for Best Song for Man or Muppet, from The Muppets. “When I first met Kermit, I was star-struck,” he began. “But when you get to know him, he’s just like any other frog.”

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