Members of the American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences have sung their praises for the silent frontrunner of the 84th Academy Awards, honoring the romantic dramedy ‘The Artist’ with Best Picture. The movie is the first silent film to win Hollywood’s most respectable award since the original Oscar ceremony in 1929, when William A. Wellman’s ‘Wings’ was honored.

In all, ‘The Artist’ won five awards at the 2012 Academy Awards, which were broadcast live on ABC from the Hollywood & Highland Centre in Hollywood, California. Actor Jean Dujardin won the Best Actor award for his portrayal of George Valentin in the film, making him the first French actor to ever win the lead actor Oscar. Dujardin accepted his Academy Award from 2011’s Best Actress winner, Natalie Portman. Filmmaker Michel Hazanavicius also won for Best Director, and accepted the award from two-time Oscar winner Michael Douglas.

Meryl Streep was awarded with her third Oscar, out of a record 17 nominations, for her portrayal of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in the biopic ‘The Iron Lady.’ This was the first Oscar in 29 years for Streep, who accepted her award from 2011’s Best Actor winner, Colin Firth. She last won for Best Actress for ‘Sophie’s Choice.’ The only other people to have been honored with three Academy Awards are Jack Nicholson, Walter Brennan and Ingrid Bergman.

Christopher Plummer became the oldest Academy Award winner in history. He accepted his first Oscar for his supporting role of Hal, the gay father of Ewan McGregor’s character, Oliver, in the romantic dramedy ‘Beginners.’ The award was presented by the 2011 Oscar winner for Best Supporting Actress, Melissa Leo.

Octavia Spencer was awarded the Best Supporting Actress Oscar from the winner of the 83rd Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, Christian Bale. She was honored for her breakout role as Minny Jackson in the drama ‘The Help.’

Martin Scorsese’s first 3D family film, ‘Hugo,’ which lead the ceremony with 11 nominations, nabbed five Oscars, for its behind-the-scenes work. The movie, which was lauded for its visual effects, was awarded with Best Visual Effects, Best Art Direction, Best Cinematography, Best Sound Mixing and Best Sound Editing.

The ‘Harry Potter’ franchise had its last chance to win an Oscar, for ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2.’ It was nominated for Best Visual Effects, Art Direction and Makeup, the latter of which was awarded to ‘The Iron Lady.’ The franchise therefore lost all nine of its nominations since the first film, ‘The Sorcerer’s Stone,’ hit theaters in 2001.

Screenwriter Alexander Payne was awarded his second Academy Award, for Best Adapted Screenplay, for ‘The Descendants.’ The scribe, who previously won for Best Adapted Screenplay for ‘Sideways’ and directed ‘The Descendants,’ shared the Oscar with co-writers Nat Faxon and Him Rash. The three were presented their awards by Angelina Jolie, who also announced Woody Allen won the Best Original Screenplay Oscar. However, the filmmaker wasn’t able to pick up the award for his romantic fantasy ‘Midnight in Paris’ in person.

Host Billy Crystal, who marked his ninth time leading the Academy Awards ceremony, kicked off the telecast with a star-laden montage. He hung out with Justin Bieber; kissed Clooney, reminiscent of ‘The Descendants; and in honor of ‘The Artist,’ initially claimed he couldn’t host the Oscars again through written title cards.

Written by: Karen Benardello

the artist oscar

By Karen Benardello

As a graduate of LIU Post with a B.F.A in Journalism, Print and Electronic, Karen Benardello serves as ShockYa's Senior Movies & Television Editor. Her duties include interviewing filmmakers and musicians, and scribing movie, television and music reviews and news articles. As a New York City-area based journalist, she's a member of the guilds, New York Film Critics Online and the Women Film Critics Circle.

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