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LOS ANGELES (AP) — Academy Awards voters have spoken up for “The Artist,” the first silent film to triumph at Hollywood's highest honors since the original Oscar ceremony 83 years ago.
The black-and-white comic melodrama took four prizes Sunday, including best picture, actor for Jean Dujardin and director for Michel Hazanavicius. Not since the World War I saga “Wings” was named outstanding picture at the first Oscars in 1929 had a silent film earned the top prize.
The other top Oscars went to Meryl Streep as best actress for “The Iron Lady,” Octavia Spencer as supporting actress for “The Help” and Christopher Plummer as supporting actor for “Beginners.”
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LOS ANGELES (AP) — Meryl Streep has won her third Academy Award, earning the best-actress prize as British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in “The Iron Lady.”
The win was Streep's first Oscar in 29 years, since she won best actress for “Sophie's Choice.” She had lost 13 times in a row since then.
Best actor Sunday went to Jean Dujardin for the silent movie “The Artist,” making him the only performer to earn an Oscar for a silent-film role since the first year of the awards 83 years ago.
The film's creator, Michel Hazanavicius, won the directing Oscar.
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LOS ANGELES (AP) — The world should plan on hearing a lot more from Jean Dujardin, the handsome and expressive actor whose portrayal of a silent film star has won him acting's top honor.
The actor, dubbed a French George Clooney, beat out the real Clooney on Sunday night for the best actor Oscar, capping a run of accolades heaped on him and "The Artist" in recent months.
"I love your country," the first Frenchman to win an acting Oscar said as he accepted the award.
He looked out on the audience packed with Hollywood's top stars and declared: "I love your country," adding: "So many of you here tonight have inspired me."
Dujardin singled out the first Oscar host, silent screen star Douglas Fairbanks, as helping make his remarkable success possible.
In "The Artist," Dujardin portrays a silent film superstar who falls from grace as talking pictures are introduced and he is upstaged by a beautiful starlet he once aided. Audiences virtually never hear from him in the film. In real life, Dujardin has relied on an English interpreter at times as he scooped up Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild and other awards.
Throughout the process he has remained humble, self-deprecating and genuinely appreciative of his newfound stardom.
Dujardin's win came over Clooney and three first-time nominees, Demian Bichir, Brad Pitt and Gary Oldman.
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LOS ANGELES (AP) — Christopher Plummer became the oldest acting winner ever at the Academy Awards for his supporting performance in “Beginners,” while veteran bit player Octavia Spencer earned the supporting-actress prize Sunday for her breakout role in “The Help.”
The 82-year-old Plummer won for his role as an elderly widower who comes out as gay in “Beginners.”
“You're only two years older than me, darling,” Plummer said, addressing his Oscar statue in this 84th year of the awards. “Where have you been all my life? I have a confession to make. When I first emerged from my mother's womb, I was already rehearsing my Oscar speech.”
The previous oldest winner was best-actress recipient Jessica Tandy for “Driving Miss Daisy,” at 80.
Completing an awards-season blitz that took her from Hollywood bit player to star, Spencer won for her role as a headstrong black maid whose willful ways continually land her in trouble with white employers in 1960s Mississippi.
Spencer wept throughout her breathless speech, in which she apologized between laughing and crying for running a bit long on her time limit.
“Thank you, academy, for putting me with the hottest guy in the room,” Spencer said, referring to last year's supporting-actor winner Christian Bale, who presented her Oscar.
Her brash character holds a personal connection: “The Help” author Kathryn Stockett based some of the woman's traits on Spencer, whom she met through childhood pal Tate Taylor, the director of the film.
Before taking the stage, Spencer got kisses from “The Help” co-stars Viola Davis, a best-actress nominee, and Jessica Chastain, a fellow supporting nominee.
Martin Scorsese's Paris adventure “Hugo” won five Oscars, including the first two prizes of the night, for cinematography and art direction. It also won for visual effects, sound mixing and sound editing.
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