As Predicted, 'The Artist' Rules Academy Awards - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

As Predicted, 'The Artist' Rules Academy Awards

MSNBC.COM - Vive la France! Vive la ... silent black-and-white movies?

"The Artist" was expected to win a number of the major Academy Awards Sunday night in Los Angeles, and the French, mostly silent, mostly black-and-white film did just that. It claimed the golden statuettes for best picture, best director, best actor and even best costume design and best score.

Jean Dujardin, acclaimed in his native France but little-known in America, won the best actor honor for his role as a silent-film actor who can't adjust to talkies. "I love your country!" he exclaimed upon reaching the stage.

"Artist" director Michel Hazanavicius claimed the best director award. His wife, Berenice Bejo, stars in the film and was nominated for best supporting actress, but lost to Octavia Spencer in "The Help."

"I am the happiest director in the world right now. Thank you for that," Hazanavicius said.

The early awards were handed out mostly as many had predicted, with Dujardin, Spencer and Christopher Plummer claiming acting awards.

But then came the best actress category, one many expected to go to Viola Davis for her role in "The Help." Instead, Meryl Streep's name was called for her role as former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher in "The Iron Lady."

"When they called my name I had this feeling I could hear half of America going, 'Oh no! Oh, come on! Why her? Again?' But whatever," the star joked.

"The Iron Lady," which ages Streep from a young Thatcher to a woman in her 80s, also won the Oscar for makeup.

Spencer claimed the best supporting actresss Oscar for her role as a maid in "The Help." Her tearful acceptance speech thanked the Academy for pairing her with "the hottest guy in the room," as she cradled her trophy. The announcement of her win was greeted with a standing ovation.

She is the fifth African-American woman to ever win the honor.

Plummer, 82, set a record as the oldest man or woman ever to win an acting Oscar when he won the best supporting actor Oscar for his role as a homosexual man coming out of the closet in "Beginners."

"You're only two years older than me, darling, where have you been all my life?" Plummer asked his Oscar statuette. click here to read more

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