I never doubted it for a minute, you know. The Golden Globes hinted at it, the BAFTAs all but confirmed it and last night The Artist rose to the top of the pile and deservedly won five Oscars™ including Best Picture and Best Actor for Jean Dujardin, becoming the first silent film to win the top prize since Wings at the very first Oscars™ ceremony back in 1929. Eighty-three years is a long time to wait (as long as 82-year-old Canadian actor Christopher Plummer, who should also be congratulated for his Best Supporting Actor award, which makes him the oldest recipient of one of those little statuettes)!
"The Artist" paints golden picture at Oscars
I don't mean to sound like a cracked record but I make no apologies for singing the praises of The Artist loud and long. This may well be a once-in-a-lifetime occurrence and it should be made the most of, particularly by those of us interested in vintage and classic films. Hopefully it will introduce a whole new audience to the wonders of the old black-and-white silents.
I went and saw it at the cinema again last week, the first time I've seen the same film twice since 1995, and it was as wonderful as the initial viewing. I may yet see it a third time, although showings at my local picture house are down to two an evening now. At the risk of repeating myself, it absolutely warrants viewing on a big screen. I was surprised but pleased to see the auditoria packed on both occasions I attended although it has to be said that my presence undoubtedly lowered the average age of the audience by a good few years(!). Still it was great to see such popularity and enjoyment, especially in my neck of the woods - be it curiosity or out-and-out appreciation this is one silent film that has the public talking!
As an aside, I just bought [via download] the wonderful (and award-winning) soundtrack today, so I can now go about my business with a little bit of black-and-white movie magic music as accompaniment. Although it's dashed difficult to live out a silent film, with all the noise things make!
The release date for the DVD has also just been announced. Mark the 7th of May in your diaries, as that's when this little gem makes it on to a distinctly un-vintage format!