'The Artist' paints golden picture at Oscars

'Hugo' claims 5 Oscars in technical categories; Meryl Streep wins best actress with 'Iron Lady.'

By REUTERS
February 27, 2012 10:06
Billy Crystal on stage at the 84th Academy Awards

Billy Crystal on stage at the 84th Academy Awards 390. (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
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LOS ANGELES - Hollywood showed some love for its history at the Oscars on Sunday, giving its best film award and four others to silent movie The Artist in a ceremony that recalled why cinema is special to so many people.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences also gave Oscars to Meryl Streep playing former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady, marking Streep's third Academy Award in 17 nominations, and veteran Christopher Plummer made history by becoming the oldest winner ever at age 82 with his role as an elderly gay man in Beginners.

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But it was the The Artist, a French movie that has been called a love letter to old Hollywood by its makers, that charmed Oscar voters. Made in the style of old silents, it tells a romantic story of a fading star in the era when silent movies were overtaken by talkies.

The Artist collected Oscars for its star Jean Dujardin and director Michel Hazanavicius, as well as for musical score and costume design.

"I am the happiest director in the world right now. Thank you for that," Hazanavicius told the audience of stars including George Clooney, Michelle Williams, Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt and members of the Academy.

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