Nicolas Sarkozy congratulates The Artist team

February 27th, 2012

French President Nicolas Sarkozy has congratulated the team behind 'The Artist' for its five Oscar wins.

The premiere hailed the French silent movie's lead star Jean Dujardin as an ''immense actor'' and said his winning of the Best Actor prize showed how important it was for people to ''defend'' creativity.

He said: ''It is a tremendous success for French cinema and quality cinema. We have to defend cinema, defend auteurs. Films must be paid for, we can't pirate them.

''This silent film has seduced the prestigious Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for an inventiveness and a grace that is reflected in all of the aspects of the work.''

The movie picked up five prizes at the awards in Los Angeles last night (26.02.12); Best Actor, Best Director, Best Costume Design, Original Score and the highly coveted Best Picture.

Although French films have won Oscars before, it is the first time one has beaten English language movies in the Best Picture category.

Jean picked up the prize over stiff competition from George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Gary Oldman and Damian Bichir.