Oscars 2012: How ‘The Artist’ Got To The Academy Awards

Buzz for the Oscar favorite began back at the 2011 Cannes film festival, and it’s been raking in award nominations ever since.
By Kara Warner
Jean Dujardin and Missi Pyle in “The Artist”
Photo: The Weinstein Co. In a day and age where it seems as if everything and everyone in Hollywood is consumed by the latest and greatest cutting-edge technology, the fact that a black-and-white silent film set in the late 1920s/ early 1930s is dominating the Oscar conversation at the moment is surprising, to say the least. “The Artist” is a legitimate silent film — there is no dialogue! — that revolves around the relationship between George Valentin (Best Actor nominee Jean Dujardin), a matinee idol in Hollywood before the dawn of talkies, and aspiring actress Peppy Miller (Best Supporting Actress nominee Bérénice Bejo). Its tone is nostalgic, sweet, romantic and fun, and the film has become a formidable force to be reckoned with on the road to Oscar gold. Buzz for “The Artist” began back in May 2011 at the Cannes film festival, where the film premiered and Dujardin took home the Best Actor award. From then on, the well-received crowd-pleaser went on to wow critics and audiences alike on the festival circuit, including the Toronto International Film Festival, Telluride Film Festival, the San Sebastian International Film Festival and the Santa Barbara International Film Festival. Once awards season kicked into high gear, the film started raking in multiple nominations and dominating a variety of best-of lists compiled by the major critics’ groups. So far, the French independent film has picked up four Critics’ Choice Awards, top prize at the Directors Guild Awards and Producers Guild Awards, three Golden Globes, the Best Actor SAG award for Dujardin, seven BAFTAs (the U.K.’s Oscar equivalent), and on Friday, six César Awards (the French equivalent of the Oscars). Not to mention the film’s five Independent Spirit Awards nominations and 10 Academy Awards nominations, where it is poised to take home most, if not all, of the evening’s major awards. The MTV Movies team has the 2012 Oscars covered! Stick with us for everything you need to know leading up to the awards show, and on Sunday, February 26, tune in to at 5 p.m. ET for our two-and-a-half-hour red-carpet live stream and updates on the night’s big winners. To join the live conversation, tweet @MTVNews with the hashtag #Oscars.

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