It's not lack of passion for the film that has robbed me of the power of words; it's that I felt so strongly that my thoughts were geared to how I would react should the worst happen, but like the flabbergasted editors from "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo," victory was something I didn't expect.
I knew, of course, that "The Artist" was considered the favorite, but I wasn't so sure. As someone who first heard about this project while it was quietly filming on the streets and back lots of Hollywood, I was intensely aware of how enormous a leap it would be for what is basically a French silent picture that didn't even think it would get American distribution to walk off with what the
The favorites in previous years, from
It won, I believe, because the final reaction of the academy members was identical to the initial reaction of viewers at Cannes, and to viewers everywhere the film has played. This is a film that people are both suspicious of going into and delighted with once they experience it.
While "The Artist" was cleaning up at the
The way the awards were structured Sunday night didn't exactly calm anyone down.
Things got worse before they got better. "Hugo" picked up two sound awards and at the midpoint of the program was leading "The Artist" four
But like that celebrated come-from-behind racehorse, the great Seabiscuit, "The Artist" finished impressively strong, taking all three of the top-tier awards it was nominated for, including lead actor for
To borrow a line from
The film also had the support of
For whatever else is said about the man — and there probably isn't anything that hasn't been said about him, both good and bad — Weinstein is someone who is passionate about film. Only someone who felt that way would embrace "The Artist" and see the potential for this kind of acclaim for it, let alone do the kind of heavy lifting that made success possible.