"The Artist" has been named the Best Picture of 2011 by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
The black-and-white, largely silent film, directed by Michel Hazanavicius, is set in Hollywood at the dawn of the sound era. It follows a matinee idol (Jean Dujardin) unable to adjust to talkies, and the young ingénue (Berenice Bejo) whose career flourishes as his declines.
Also read: The Complete List of Oscar Winners
A hit when it first screened at the Cannes Film Festival in May, the Weinstein Company release had been a frontrunner for much of awards season, and its Oscar victory took on an air of inevitability after it won at the Golden Globes, the Critics Choice Movie Awards, the Producers Guild Awards and the Directors Guild Awards. On Saturday, it won four awards at the Film Independent Spirit Awards — Feature, Director, Actor and Cinematography — after winning the top prize in France's Cesar Awards Friday.
The only other silent film to win Best Picture was 1927's "Wings," which was named Outstanding Picture at the first Oscar ceremony.