Surprise hit film “The Artist” brought more acclaim to its name Sunday night when star Jean Dujardin took home the best actor Oscar. The film also won Oscars for its director, Michel Hazanavicius and for best score.
Dujardin plays George Valentin, an actor struggling to transition from silent films to talkies in 1930s Hollywood. The role marks his debut into the world of American cinema, though he’s held a variety of roles in French movies over the past decade.
"I love your country!" Dujardin exclaimed when he reached the stage. He went on to thank his cast and crew; his inspiration, the legendary Douglas Fairbanks; and also made note of some cleverly researched Academy trivia about the first awards show in 1929. “Tickets cost $5 and it lasted fifteen minutes. Times have changed!”
And he also, apparently, slipped in a French swear word that made his mother unhappy.
Dujardin finished his speech with a passionately French "Merci beaucoup!"
The actor bested rivals George Clooney, Demian Bichir, Brad Pitt and Gary Oldman for the prize.
This is the actor’s first Academy Award and first nomination.
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