October 27, 2016
        "The Circle" and "The Lost City of Z": Which potential 2016 contenders got bumped to 2017?                Natalie Portman, Janelle Monáe, Matthew McConaughey, Bryce Dallas Howard, Edgar Ramirez, Stacy Keach at Hollywood Film Awards                Viola Davis will be campaigned in Best Supporting Actress for "Fences"                Mel Gibson to be Honored with the Hollywood Director Award at the 20th Annual Hollywood Film Awards                Michael Moore drops a surprise new film with "Michael Moore in TrumpLand"                Hollywood Contenders: New Oscar Predictions for October                Nicole Kidman, Hugh Grant, Naomie Harris, Lily Collins get Honors at 20th Annual Hollywood Film Awards                "Manchester by the Sea" leads the Gotham Award nominations                Tom Ford, Marc Platt and Kenneth Lonergan to be Honored at 20th Annual Hollywood Film Awards                Tom Cruise is in his action hero comfort zone with "Jack Reacher: Never Go Back"                "Moonlight" could be A24's big Oscar horse this year                Ewan McGregor steps behind the camera with "American Pastoral"                Hollywood Contenders: A second crack at Golden Globe predictions for 2016                "The Accountant" seeks to help give Ben Affleck another blockbuster                85 countries will be competing for Best Foreign Language Feature nominations at the Oscars        

“The Artist” wins Audience Award at San Sebastian – AWARDS ALLEY

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: There’s no denying it: Michel Hazanvicius’ “The Artist” is a flat-out crowd pleaser. Can it ride that love to a handful of Oscar nominations (and possible wins)?

Hazanvicius’ black-and-white silent film, a loving homage to Hollywood’s Golden Age, took home the Audience Award at the 59th San Sebastian Film Festival over the weekend. Earlier this year, “Artist” star Jean Dujardin claimed the Best Actor award in Cannes for his portrayal of silent film star George Valentin, who fears the advent of the “talkies” will force him out of his beloved industry. (“The Artist” also received a Palme d’Or nomination at Cannes, but lost to Terrence Malick’s “The Tree of Life.”)

As I mentioned in Toronto, “Artist” is amazing, a joyous celebration of Hollywood history and the art of filmmaking. It is going to play like gangbusters for older members of the Academy, and should appeal to anyone who adores film.

That seems to suggest that the film has a very good chance at earning multiple Oscar nominations, including Picture, Director and Actor (for Dujardin). It would be the first predominantly silent film to earn a Best Picture nomination in decades.

Now it’s up to the Weinstein Company to build on the positive buzz “Artist” has been collecting on the festival circuit, with winning stops at Telluride and Toronto. The film is expected to reach U.S. theaters on Nov. 23, and needs to be seen by anyone reading this. It’s delightful and, I believe, Oscar worthy. But time will tell on that last one.

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About Sean O'Connell

Sean O'Connell is a nationally recognized film critic. His reviews have been published in print ('The Washington Post,' 'USA Today') and online (AMC FilmCritic.com, MSN's Citysearch) since 1996. He's a weekly contributor to several national radio programs. He is a longstanding member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS), and the Southeastern Film Critics View all articles by Sean O'Connell Association (SEFCA).

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