Monday, May 20, 2024

“The Artist” Wins 7 British Academy Awards


There’s no such thing as a “done deal” but “The Artist” looks like it’s headed to a big Oscar night on February 26th. Over the weekend the Michel Hazanavicius directed silent film picked up 7 BAFTA awards from the British Film Academy. The film won Best Picture, Actor, and Director, plus Original Screenplay and Score. There was nothing, however, for Uggie, and nothing for Berenice Bejo, who’s having the unfortunate experience of watching everyone else from “The Artist” win awards while she loses to Octavia Spencer from “The Help” for Best Supporting Actress. Not to take away from Spencer, but Bejo is a marvel as Peppy Miller, the plucky Hollywood ingenue who becomes a superstar.

Best Actress went to Meryl Streep for “The Iron Lady.” This was a pretty controversial choice in England considering Streep played Margaret Thatcher in a way that surprised the Brits. But I do think that Streep is on target now for the Oscar over Viola Davis in “The Help.” Anything could change, but Streep’s body of work and her superlative performance in this film especially should lead to a win. Davis has a lot of of Oscars, Tonys, and Emmys in her future, of that there is no doubt.

As for “The Artist,” the real shock is that Jean DuJardin has picked up this momentum for Best Actor. He’s winning contests against Brad Pitt and George Clooney. I can’t imagine what those two guys must be thinking. They’ve each done their best work ever in “Moneyball” and “The Descendants.” “The Artist” came out of left field, a total shock. But Du Jardin is so appealing and charming in “The Artist,” and he’s obviously appealing to voters looking for someone new to choose from.

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Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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