The Artist triumphs at the Oscars

The black and white film completed a weekend trio of triumphs after also winning gold at the Cesar Awards in Paris on Friday (24Feb12) and the Independent Spirit Awards in Santa Monica, California on Saturday (25Feb12).

The Artist filmmaker Michel Hazanavicius was also triple weekend winner after claiming the Best Director honour at the Hollywood & Highland Center on Sunday, and the film also took home trophies for Costume Design and Score, while Jean Dujardin became the first Frenchman to pick up the coveted Best Actor award for his portrayal as silent film star George Valentin.

Meanwhile, Martin Scorsese’s first 3D film Hugo picked up five of its 11 nominations in categories including Best Cinematography, Best Editing and Best Sound Mixing.

Other big winners at the 84th Academy Awards included Meryl Streep (Best Actress), Octavia Spencer (Best Supporting Actress), Woody Allen (Best Original Screenplay), Alexander Payne (Best Adapted Screenplay), Christopher Plummer, who, at 82, became the oldest actor ever to win an Academy Award, for his supporting role in Beginners, and A Separation, which became the first movie from Iran to win a Best Foreign Language Film Oscar.

Billy Crystal returned to host the ceremony for the ninth time and kicked off the show with one of his famous movie montages, playing The Artist’s leading man George Valentin in a silent torture scene and George Clooney’s comatose partner in The Descendants.

The odd couple shared a kiss as the movie hunk and Oscar nominee woke the sleeping comic and told him he had to host the ceremony, joking, “The Academy has got the youngest, hippest writers in town.”

Crystal also placed himself in scenes from The Help, Bridesmaids, The Adventures of Tin Tin, Moneyball and Midnight in Paris, where he doubled up as Sammy Davis Jr. opposite Justin Bieber.

There was also a cameo for Tom Cruise in a brief Mission: Impossible skit.

In his opening monologue, Crystal joked, “The movies have always been there for us… so tonight, enjoy yourself because nothing can take the sting out of the world’s economic problems like watching millionaires present each other with golden statues.”

The full list of 2012 Oscar winners is:

Best Motion Picture of the Year

The Artist

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role

Jean Dujardin (The Artist)

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role

Meryl Streep (The Iron Lady)

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role

Christopher Plummer (Beginners)

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role

Octavia Spencer (The Help)

Best Achievement in Directing

Michel Hazanavicius (The Artist)

Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen

Woody Allen (Midnight in Paris)

Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published

Alexander Payne, Jim Rash & Nat Faxon (The Descendants)

Best Animated Feature Film


Best Foreign Language Film of the Year

A Separation (Iran)

Best Achievement in Cinematography

Robert Richardson (Hugo)

Best Achievement in Editing

Kirk Baxter & Angus Wall (The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo)

Best Achievement in Art Direction

Dante Ferretti & Francesca Lo Schiavo (Hugo)

Best Achievement in Costume Design

Mark Bridges (The Artist)

Best Achievement in Makeup

Mark Coulier & J. Roy Helland (The Iron Lady)

Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Score

Ludovic Bource (The Artist)

Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Song

Bret McKenzie (Man or Muppet from The Muppets)

Best Achievement in Sound Mixing

Tom Fleischman & John Midgley (Hugo)

Best Achievement in Sound Editing

Phillip Stockton & Eugene Gearty (Hugo)

Best Achievement in Visual Effects

Rob Legato, Joss Williams, Ben Grossman & Alex Henning (Hugo)

Best Documentary Feature


Best Documentary Short

Saving Face

Best Short Film, Animated

The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore

Best Short Film, Live Action

The Shore

Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Awards

James Earl Jones, Dick Smith & Oprah Winfrey