Film critics weren’t too far off in their predictions for who would nab awards this year at the Oscars. “The Artist,” a chronicle of Hollywood’s shaky shift to “the talkies,” topped critics’ lists with highly touted nominations for best picture, best director for Michel Hazanavicius, and best actor, for its French lead Jean Dujardin. The black-and-white silent film won those exact three top Oscars at the 84th Academy Awards Sunday night.
Film critic Roger Ebert dubbed the night a very “French Oscars”; for the first time ever, a French actor and a French filmmaker won awards for those categories. “The Artist” also won in costume design and original score. The film was running against Director Martin Scorcese’s kids adventure “Hugo,” which racked up 11 nominations and took home five awards: cinematography, visual effects, art direction, sound mixing and sound editing.
Earlier in the night, Octavia Spencer won supporting actress for her role as a bold maid in the 1960s civil rights era drama “The Help,” and Christopher Plummer won supporting actor for his role in “Beginners.” Film critics nominated Viola Davis for best actress, but Meryl Streep snagged the unexpected win. Fresh (or slightly crumpled) from the red carpet, L.A. Times film writer John Horn joins Larry in-studio to dish about Sunday night’s winners and losers.
John Horn, Film Writer, Los Angeles Times