'The Artist' Sweeps the BAFTA Awards 2012

"The Artist," was named best picture of the year at the British Academy of Film and Television Arts on Sunday.

The mostly silent French film picture cleaned up Britain's Academy awards, taking home seven of the 12 awards it was up for, including Best Picture, lead actor for Jean Dujardin, who also won best actor at this year's Screen Actors Guild, and two awards for the film's writer-director, Michel Hazanavicius.

Hazanavicius also won Best Director at the Directors Guild of America awards last month.

"I know that I will have some bad days because I'm a director but I will remember this day, today, as a good day," the French director said as he accepted his award.

The black and white mostly silent film based in the late 1920s to the early 1930s, tells the story of a relationship between an older silent film star and a rising young starlet as "talkies" begin to eclipse silent films. Its nostalgic romance pays tribute to the golden age of film and story-telling that is not often seen in contemporary cinema.

After winning the biggest prizes of the night at the Golden Globes, SAG Awards and BAFTAs, it is highly likely that "The Artist" will take home the most coveted award in the movie industry: The Academy Award. Last year, "The King's Speech" won the Best picture award at the BAFTAs, and later went on to win the same prize at the Oscars.

"The Artist" did fail to pull out the Lead Actress award, which is still up in the air for the Oscars on Feb. 26. Meryl Streep won the lead actress BAFTA award for her role in "The Iron Lady" as former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. She defeated Viola Davis, who won the SAG award for Best Actress for her performance as a maid in "The Help." Streep also won the lead actress in a drama at the Golden Globe Awards last month.

"This is really touching and moving for me," Hazanavicius said during his acceptance speech at the DGA's.

"It's maybe the highest recognition I could hope for," he said.

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