The cast was glowing even after a night of parties especially leading man Jean Dujardin, who took home the golden statue for Best Actor and exclaimed his gratitude (and dropped a few select words that the censors did not approve of) in French, and actress Berenice Bejo who's smile was still lighting up the room even after her loss of Best Actress to veteran actress Meryl Streep who portrayed Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in "Iron Lady" with tight-lipped British perfection. With his wide grin and ever-articulated eyebrows Dujardin, the first French actor to win an Academy Award for Best Actor, beamed over the role of 1920's silent film star George Valentin that had its challenges since every movement mattered to convey emotion, tell the story, and move the film to the end. Perhaps he'll take a few English lessons and we'll see more of him on the screen here in the United States but until then he'll be starring in "Les Infidèles" which he co-wrote and is co-directing in France in February and then in Claude Berri's "One Wild Moment" out later this year.
The cast of "The Artist" also includes John Goodman as the a-typical studio mogul, Missi Pyle as a hopeful starlet, and Malcolm McDowell as a butler. The story revolves around George Valentin (Dujardin) and the birth of 'talkies,' a medium he greatly fears. After years in the spotlight he sees his light dim as a new breed of actors and actresses, including Bejo's Peppy Miller, take over. He's shut out, broke, and beaten and only has his dog (Uggie) for comfort. Then in a turn of events, well, can't tell you that since it's a bit of a spoiler, but suffice it to say it's a movie ending fit for this year's newest and most unexpected blockbuster.
Top Photo: "The Artist" starring Jean Dujardin and Berenice Bejo takes top honors at the Acacdemy Awards winning Best Picture. (Photo: The Weinstein Company)
Right: The men of the night, Best Director Michel Hazanavicius and Best Actor Jean Dujardin of "The Artist" hold their golden statues high at the Elton John AIDS Foundation 20th Annual Academy Awards Viewing Party. (Photo: PatrickMcMullan.com)
Bottom: Leading lady Bereneice Bejo was gorgeous on the red carpet in light mint green beaded Elie Saab at the 84th Annual Academy Awards in Hollywood. (Photo: PatrickMcMullan.com)