Filmland 'hearts' French-produced ‘The Artist’ starring Jean Dujardin, Bérénice Bejo, and Uggie the Dog--as Jack. The black and white, silent-screen ode written and directed by Bérénice’s husband, Michel Hazanavicius--is looking like it could trounce the 84th Oscars as Italy's ‘Life is Beautiful’ did at the 71st awards.
The story is set in Hollywood circa 1927 and 1932 where the rising young actress supplants the leading male silent film star when he loses all his dough in the 1929 Market Crash and as the movie industry turns to talkies. His life descends from the heights to ruin—while hers rises to the brightest heights.
Dujardin--the George Clooney of France--won the Best Actor Award at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival where ‘The Artist’ premiered. The film took six French César Awards including Best Film, Best Director for Hazanavicius and Best Actress for Béjo. It's won three Golden Globes, seven BAFTAs, and is nominated for ten Academy Awards including: Best Picture, Best Director and Best Original Screenplay for Hazanavicius, Best Actor for Dujardin and Best Supporting Actress for Bejo.
Male lead, 39-year old Jean Dujardin was born and raised in a Paris suburb--and began acting by performing a one-man show around The City of Lights. He next starred in a French TV comedy series, and film roles, before hitting the big-time playing silent-screen legend George Valentin in ‘Artist’.
The 35-year old Argentine-French actress, Bérénice Bejo--plays Peppy Miller opposite Dujardin. The pair took dance lessons and watched silent films for five months to prepare for their roles. Bejo was born in Buenos Aires to Argentine filmmaker Miguel Bejo and a lawyer mom. When she was a toddler the family relocated to France. She made her American debut as Christiana in 2001's A Knight's Tale and also starred as Olivia in ‘24 Hours in the Life of a Woman’ and in ‘OSS 117: Cairo, Nest of Spies’ then married that film’s 44-year old director Michel Hazanavicius. The couple have two children.
Michel Hazanavicius, director, producer and screenwriter best known for his spy movie parodies has starred Jean Dujardin in three of his films including the current ‘Artist'. Hazanavicius first directed French TV commercials before jumping ship for film. He’s up for Best Director, Best Original Screenplay and Best Editing on Sunday night.
An interview with the charming Dujardin and Bejo. here Official Academy Awards site: here The other hit pix star, Uggie the Dog, on Ellen: here Rumor has it he’s howling mad for Reese Witherspoon. It promises to be a fantastic Oscars night hosted by funnyman Billy Crystal. Live stream Oscars: here Happy Le Weekend~