Jean Dujardin backstage getting licked by Uggie during the 84th Academy Awards Awards ceremony held at the Hollywood and Highland Center on February 26, 2012. Jean Dujardin was the year’s Best Actor winner for his performance as a fading silent film star in Michel Hazanavicius’ The Artist. Uggie was a Golden Collar winner for his star-making turn as the fading silent star’s faithful animal companion.
Now, months before Dujardin became the first Frenchman to win an Oscar in the acting categories, he had already been chosen as the Best Actor at the Cannes Film Festival. Though not a common occurrence — chiefly because Cannes winners are usually non-Americans performing in non-English-speaking roles — there have been a number of Cannes Best Actor / Best Actress winners who went on to win or be nominated for Oscars. Those include Christoph Waltz for Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds, William Hurt for Hector Babenco’s Kiss of the Spider Woman, Holly Hunter for Jane Campion’s The Piano, Valerie Perrine for Bob Fosse’s Lenny, Anne Bancroft for Jack Clayton’s The Pumpkin Eater, and, at the birth of the festival, Ray Milland for Billy Wilder’s The Lost Weekend.
So far this century, one Best Actress winner at Cannes (Penélope Cruz for Pedro Almodóvar’s Volver, 2006) and three Best Actor winners (Christoph Waltz, 2009; Javier Bardem for Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Biutiful, 2010; Jean Dujardin, 2011) have gone on to be shortlisted by the Academy. Both Dujardin and Waltz (as Best Supporting Actor) won the Oscar.