Andrew Pulver 

The Artist wins Oscar for best picture

French silent film The Artist starring Jean Dujardin and Berenice Bejo has carried off the top prize at the 2012 Academy awards
  
  

The Artist is the winner of this year's Oscar for best picture, at the 84th Academy Award ceremony that has just concluded in Hollywood. The French silent film won five awards during the night, including best actor for star Jean Dujardin and best director for writer/director Michel Hazanavicius.

The Artist came out on top in a field of nine best picture nominees, defeating the much-fancied George Clooney starrer The Descendants, Martin Scorsese's early-cinema fantasy Hugo, and feelgood civil rights drama The Help. It's other gongs included the awards for costume design and music (original score).

Hazanavicius's film had been the front runner for the Oscars for months, winning best picture awards at the Golden Globes and the Bafta awards.

With an Oscar campaign orchestrated by industry veteran Harvey Weinstein, The Artist looked irresistible. In the end it tied with Scorsese's picture in terms of number of Oscars, with each film taking five.