The Artist maintains awards momentum

23 Jan

On the eve of the announcement of this year’s Oscar nominations, The Artist has muscled its way into a seemingly unassailable position as the firm favourite for Academy glory.

Adding to its clutch of Golden Globes and success at the London Film Critics’ Circle awards, The Artist  landed the portentous Producers Guild award, an accolade that has been afforded to the past four Best Picture winner at the Oscars.  It then swiftly added to its burgeoning trophy cabinet by snaffling the  UK Regional  Critics’ Film of the year award.

Michel Hazanavicius, Jean Dujardin et al might do well to take heed of the more prestigious PGA award, as the UK regional critics have in fact picked the Oscar winner only once in the past six years (Slumdog Millionaire in 2009), instead tending to opt for more quirky fare over genuine contenders.

Last year they opted for The Social Network over eventual winner The King’s Speech and Up as opposed to The Hurt Locker the year before that.  Other winners in the past have included such leftfield pics as Atonement and Pan’s Labyrinth.

Just out of shot: Billy Crystal poised with several shiny Oscars...

This year however The Artist seems set to scoop just about every award going.

What is particularly telling about The Artist’s success at such differing awards gigs is that the film seems to be uniting rather than polarising the critics and appears to be riding along on an unstoppable groundswell of goodwill towards eventual Oscar shaped victory.

As it stands, The Descendants seems the only other viable contender, but if The Artist can dominate the forthcoming BAFTA’s and Screen Actor’s Guild Awards in much the same fashion as it has so far, then the wise bucks will be on the French silent movie come Oscar night on February 26.

And who would have predicted that this time a year ago?

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