Monday, 27 February 2012
The Artist: Academy Awards and César Awards
A huge win for French cinema in the Academy Awards on Sunday night, with The Artist winning five Oscars. The five awards were for Best Film, Best Actor and Best Director, as well as for Costume Design and Original Score.
Hugo also won five Oscars awards, but Best Sound Editing and Best Sound Mixing, Best Art Direction, Best Cinematography and Best Visual Effects awards really sound like runner-up prizes in comparison.
I was also very pleased to see an Oscar for Midnight in Paris, Best Original Screenplay. A really enjoyable film.
Of course, the media being as it is the coverage of the Oscars overshadows in countries outside France at least the César awards.
These again provided a big win for The Artist, getting a total of six awards after ten nominations. The awards it won indluded Best Film, Best Director, Best Actress, Best Original Music, Best Photography, an Best Decor.
However, for our purposes in a music blog, the award of Best Original Score for Ludovic Bource's work on the Artist is a real pleasure to report.
Ludovic Bource is originally from Brittany, and grew up in the Loudéac area. He learned the accordeon, then piano at the Concervatoire de Saint-Brieuc, before beginning his career, initially working in soundtracks for advertising.
Bourse began working with Michel Hazanavicius on the short film Mes Amis in 1999 and the two have collaborated since.
He also worked previously with Michel Hazanavicius on the French spy spoof films OSS 117, Le Caire, nid d’espions and OSS 117, Rio ne répond plus,
He already won a Golden Globe for the soundtrack to The Artist last month.
The win was not without controversy, with accusations from actress Kim Novak that his use of some of the soundtrack to the film Vertigo that she starred in was "a rape", although he himself viewed it as "The purest tribute" to the original, noting that composers frequently make use of work created by others beforehand.
However, Bource was up against John Williams who was nominated for both War Horse and The Adventures of Tintin, both by Steven Spielberg, and Trent Reznor and Atticus Finch for The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, Reznor winning last year for The Social Network.
John Williams is the second most Oscar nominated artist ever, with a total of 47 nominatione in his career along with five wins, for Schindler's List, ET, Star Wars, Jaws, and Fiddler on the Roof.
Bource joins previous French winners including Michel Legrand and Maurice Jarre, who each won three Oscars, and Francis Lai and Georges Delerue who each won one.
Maybe this year the Academy felt that in a silent movie the soundtrack played a more significant part than it normally would, and that The Artist, an affectionate tribute to an apparently simpler golden age of Hollywood was exactly the kind of thing that was needed in these difficult times.