'The Artist' scoops gold at Guild awards
The Artist continued its love affair with American cinema after winning best-produced film last night 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 yesterday, 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 26th, 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.
Other PGA award winners last night included Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels of a Tribe Called Quest for best-produced documentary, which explores the journey of influential hip-hop group A Tribe Called Quest.
Angelina Jolie received the Stanley Kramer award for In the Land of Blood and Honey, which she wrote, directed and produced, an accolade reserved for contributions that highlight provocative social issues.
The Oscar-winning actress delivered a sober acceptance speech, noting that when war-film Schindler's List won a PGA in 1994 during the Bosnian war, "the world turned a blind eye" to the atrocities happening in Eastern Europe at the time.
Spielberg was awarded the coveted David O'Selznick achievement award and comic-book legend Stan Lee received the Vanguard award, presented by Spiderman actor Tobey Maguire.
Both received standing ovations as they took the stage. ABC's Modern Family was named best-produced television comedy for the second year running, while HBO's Boardwalk Empire was named best-produced TV drama. PBS' British period drama Downton Abbey was named best-produced long-form television series.