"The Artist" shines at the French Film Awards - but what will the Americans think?
Better late than never - After making a last minute decision to see The Artist this afternoon, I rushed to the movie theatre and sank into my seat just as the movie started. Slightly annoyed that the woman next to me insisted on humming along with most of the songs, I'm thankful that I resisted the urge to ask her to be quiet because when the movie was over, she turned to me and said enthusiastically in French, "I hope that the Americans like it!" Assuring her that the French film was highly entertaining, she shook her head and said that she was worried that George Clooney would win the Academy Award for best male actor in a leading role. Having found Clooney's portrayal of a grieving husband to be lacking on so many levels in "The Descendants", I told her that I don't think that he'll be going home with an Oscar tomorrow night. She beamed and confided that she hopes that the The Artist will reign supreme in Los Angeles and that Jean Dujardin will be the first French-born actor to win the Oscar for a lead role. It seems that there's a lot more at stake than just a gold statue. It's a question of national pride - no wonder that Dujardin started singing the French national anthem, La Marseillaise, when he as asked what it would mean to him and to his country if he goes on to win the Academy Award after winning "best actor" at the Screen Actors Guild Awards.
While The Artist won a total of six Cesars for Best Film, Best Director, Best Actress, Best Cinematography, Best Art Direction and Best Music at the French Film Awards in Paris last night, the Cesar for Best Actor went to Omar Sy for his performance in the feel-good box office blockbuster Intouchables. According to a recent article in The New York Times, the movie will soon have an American remake produced by Will Smith. As Stephane and I thoroughly enjoyed the heartwarming tale about the friendship that develops between a wealthy quadriplegic and his caretaker, I'll be curious to see how this movie is adapted for American audiences.
Any thoughts about how The Artist or other movies will do tomorrow night? As always, I won't find out the winners until I wake up Monday morning.