The Academy Awards have crowned the year’s best in cinema, and a year ago, who would have thought that the Best Picture winner would be a silent, black and white film set in the 1920s? Amid tough competition from The Help and Hugo, Michel Hazanavicius’ ode to 1920s Hollywood, The Artist, emerged victorious.
A must-see film, The Artist is full of life, humour, and movement, in a tale made incredibly compelling despite the lack of dialogue. The film also took home the Oscar for Best Director and Best Actor for Jean Dujardin. Dujardin’s range of emotions plays out entirely on his face and through his gestures, since he doesn’t have the words to tell the audience what is going on.
But it is of no consequence because you won’t even notice that the dialogue is missing thanks to his and Best Supporting Actress nominee, Bérénice Bejo’s, wonderful performances set to the Oscar-winning musical score.
Another big winner of the night was Martin Scorsese’s Hugo which, like The Artist, pays tribute to the early era of cinema. Based on Brian Selznick’s beloved children’s book The Adventures of Hugo Cabret, Hugo won Best Cinematography, Best Art Direction, and Best Visual Effects, just to name a few of the film’s honours. Melanie and I loved this movie so much when we first saw it, that we wrote this review.
Hollywood’s leading lady, Meryl Streep, the Academy’s most-nominated performer with a total of 17 acting nominations, took home the statue for Best Actress for her role as former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady. In a field of incredible female performers, Meryl seemed truly shocked when her name was called to accept the award. Octavia Spencer won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for her role as the long-suffering maid Minny in The Help, a character which she fully embodied, completely disappearing into the character.
Canada’s own Christopher Plummer received a standing ovation when he was called to collect his much-deserved award for Best Supporting Actor for his role as Hal, a man whom in his final years embraces his homosexuality while battling terminal cancer in Beginners.
2011 was a great year for movies, and the award winners of the evening reflect a broad range of genres and stories. You can find all of this year’s Oscar-nominated films available on DVD and Blu-ray in our Academy Awards Shop. In addition, you can also see the complete list of previous Best Picture winners dating back to the very first ceremony in 1929.
Check out the complete list of Oscar winners:
- Best Picture: The Artist
- Actor: Jean Dujardin (The Artist)
- Actress: Meryl Streep (The Iron Lady)
- Director: The Artist (Michel Hazanavicius)
- Supporting Actor: Christopher Plummer (Beginners)
- Supporting Actress: Octavia Spencer (The Help)
- Adapted Screenplay: The Descendants
- Original Screenplay: Midnight in Paris
- Foreign Language Film: A Separation (Iran)
- Animated Feature Film: Rango
- Cinematography: Hugo
- Art Direction: Hugo
- Costume Design: The Artist
- Documentary Feature: Undefeated
- Makeup: The Iron Lady
- Original Score: The Artist
- Original Song: “Man or Muppet” from The Muppets
- Short Film, Animated: The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore
- Short Film, Live Action: The Shore
- Sound Editing: Hugo
- Sound Mixing: Hugo
- Visual Effects: Hugo