The Artist sweeps BAFTA Awards

MUMBAI: Silent movie has won seven awards including Best Picture at the British Academy Film Awards. The film thus edged out the espionage thriller Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.

While The Artist was named best film, Jean Dujardin took the male acting award and its filmmaker Michel Hazanavicius won the best director award the original screenplay award.

Meryl Streep was named best actress for her depiction of Margaret Thatcher, Britain?s first female prime minister in The Iron Lady. The film also won a well-deserved award in the hair and makeup category.

Martin Scorsese?s Parisian fantasy Hugo lapped up awards in the sound and production design category.

John le Carre adaptation Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, that had as many as 11 nominations compared to 12 for The Artist, won just two prizes, one for the British film and the other for adapted screenplay.

The BAFTA award is considered to be a strong indicator of likely success at the Academy Awards to be held on 26 February.

The trophies give more momentum to The Artist, which has already won three Golden Globes, and has 10 Oscar nominations.

Dujardin, who plays a silent screen icon eclipsed by the talkies, said the appeal of The Artist lay in its accessibility.

"It?s a simple story," he said. "It?s a love story. It?s universal. And there?s a cute dog" -- Jack Russell terrier Uggie, who almost steals the film from his two-legged co-stars.

The supporting actor award went to Christopher Plummer for his role in Beginners, while Octavia Spencer was named best supporting actress for her role as a fiery maid in Deep South drama The Help.

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