"The Artist" wins over producers at Guild Awards

Sun Jan 22, 2012 3:24am EST
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By Piya Sinha-Roy

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - "The Artist" continued its love affair with American cinema after winning best-produced film on Saturday at the Producers Guild Awards (PGA), boosting its chances for an Oscar nod ahead of the Academy Award nominations next week.

The silent black-and-white French comedy, starring Jean Dujardin and Berenice Bejo, is a homage to the pre-talkie era of Hollywood in the 1920s and 1930s and tells the story of a fading silent movie star as sound began entering the world of cinema.

"When Michel Hazanavicius and I dreamed of making "The Artist," we knew we were dreaming of writing a love letter to American cinema. We never knew in return we would get a taste of the American dream," Thomas Langmann, the film's producer, said in his acceptance speech in Beverly Hills.

The film has been sweeping awards ceremonies in the run up to the Oscars, winning best picture at the Critics Choice and Golden Globes earlier this month.

It was up against nine other films in contention for best-produced film on Saturday, including female-led comedy "Bridesmaids," civil rights drama "The Help," and Steven Spielberg's epic tale "War Horse."

"The Adventures of Tintin," produced by Spielberg, picked up best-produced animated film.

The Producers Guild awards are significant in the race to the Academy Awards on February 26, as many of the 5,000-plus members of the PGA, are members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, who vote for the Oscars.

For the last four years, the producers' best-produced film picks have gone on to win the best picture Oscar, with "No Country For Old Men" in 2008, "Slumdog Millionaire" in 2009, "The Hurt Locker" in 2010 and "The King's Speech" in 2011.   Continued...

<p>Jean Dujardin (L), winner for best performance by an actor in a motion picture - comedy or musical, director Michel Hazanavicius and actress Berenice Bejo, pose backstage with Uggie the dog after "The Artist" won the award for best comedy or musical motion picture at the 69th annual Golden Globe Awards in Beverly Hills, California, January 15, 2012. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson</p>