A silent movie was expected to make a lot of noise Sunday night at the 84th Academy Awards in Los Angeles.
"The Artist" is the frontrunner for the Best Picture Oscar after picking up the Golden Globe for Best Picture and top prizes from the Producers and Directors Guilds.
It was expected to be the third silent film to get such high distinctions, following the 1927 films “Wings” and “Sunrise,” which won respectively "Outstanding Picture" and "'Most Artistic Quality Of Production" in the first Academy Awards ceremony in 1929.
"The Artist" has 10 nominations in all, including Best Actor for Jean Dujardin.
The Frenchman is facing stiff competition from George Clooney, who was nominated for his first Best Actor Oscar for his performance in the Hawaii-set drama "The Descendants."
Meryl Streep was nominated up for a Best Actress Oscar for her portrayal of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in "The Iron Lady."
But Viola Davis was also nominated for Best Actress for her performance as a maid in the civil rights drama "The Help."
In the supporting categories, 82-year-old Christopher Plummer was expected to win his first Academy Award for his performance as an elderly gay man in "Beginners."
Octavia Spencer was the favorite to take Best Supporting Actress for her work in "The Help."
Billy Crystal was scheduled to host the Academy Awards for the first time in eight years.