It would be the second Oscar for Clooney, who won the supporting-actor prize for 2005’s “Syriana.” While French actresses have won before, among them Marion Cotillard and Juliette Binoche, Dujardin would be the first actor from France to receive an Oscar.
Dujardin was picked as best actor Saturday at the Spirit Awards honoring independent film, where “The Artist” ruled with four prizes, including best picture and director for Michel Hazanavicius, who is favored for the same trophy at the Oscars.
“The Artist” has dominated Hollywood honors this season, winning key prizes at the Golden Globes and awards shows held by the Directors, Producers and Screen Actors guilds.
“This means a lot, because it’s a small movie. It’s not expensive. We did it with small money,” Hazanavicius said backstage at the Spirit Awards. “And it’s black and white and silent.”
If “The Artist” comes away with the best-picture trophy, it would be the first win for a silent film since the war story “Wings” was named outstanding picture at the inaugural Oscars in 1929.
The 84th Academy Awards show begins at 8:30 p.m. EST, broadcast live on ABC from the Hollywood & Highland Center in Los Angeles.