The Artist on top of the world
by Fabien Lemercier
27/02/2012 - The silent black-and-white fairy tale from France last night won worldwide recognition in Hollywood, the place where it all started. Winning the Holy Grail of cinema that is the Best Film Award, last night The Artist [trailer, film focus] by Michel Hazanavicius went home with a grand total of five Oscars, including the prestigious awards for Best Director (Michel Hazanavicius) and Best Actor (Jean Dujardin), as well as Best Original Soundtrack (Ludovic Bource) and Best Costume Design (Mark Bridges), making it a night to remember.
In the entire history of the famous statuettes, The Artist is the first non Anglo-Saxon feature film to win the Oscar for Best Film. It’s a fabulous success that will reflect on its producer Thomas Langmann (La Petite Reine) and on all the film’s other partners (Studio 37, France 3 Cinéma, La Classe Américaine, JD Prod, Jouror Productions, Canal +, Ciné+,Warner France et Wild Bunch).
Already a winner in Cannes and at the Golden Globes, Jean Dujardin also touched the stars when he became last night the first French actor to ever win an Oscar, after seven nominations for his predecessors (Maurice Chevalier twice in 1930, Charles Boyer four times between 1938 and 1962, and Gérard Depardieu in 1991).
Michel Hazanavicius is the second French film director to win the Oscar for Best Director (after Roman Polanski in 2003 pour The Pianist [trailer]), while composer Ludovic Bource was the thenth Frenchman to win an Oscar for Best Original Soundtrack, following in the footsteps of Maurice Jarre, Michel Legrand, Georges Delerue, Francis Lai, and Gabriel Yared, the last winner from France in 1997. Finally, the Oscar for Best Costume Design wass awarded to someone from France for the fifth time.
After last night, The Artist will add its five Oscars to an impressive war chest that already contains, among others, three Golden Globes (article), six César (news), seven Bafta, and one Goya. The film has already registered over 2.1 million admissions in France, and generated over $31.8m in profits in the United States from 966 copies. And there is no doubt that these Oscars will further boost viewings.
Midnight in Paris [trailer] by Woody Allen also won Best Original Screenplay. The film notably benefitted from a Tax Rebate for International Production (TRIP) from the French Centre National du Cinéma et de l’image animée (CNC).
Finally, Memento shone with Iranian director Asghar Farhadi, as the Parisian company headed the international sales of Best Film in a Foreign Language winner A Separation, and is producing the director’s next feature in France.
(Translated from French)