2012 was a record-breaking year in Academy Awards history. With The Artist taking the Best Picture award, it was the first time that a silent film had won the top prize, and the first time since 1930 that a film without any dialogue had won Best Picture.
For the fourth consecutive ceremony, a record number of films were nominated, with The Artist and The Descendants each with 12 nominations, and The Tree of Life and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close each with 11. The Artist was the first animated film to be nominated for Best Picture, and The Descendants was the first in which all four actors nominated for Best Actor were from different generations. The Artist, The Descendants, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, The Help, Lincoln and Silver Linings Playbook were all nominated for Best Picture, marking the first time that five out of the six nominated Best Picture winners in the Academy Award's 85-year history have been adapted from a screenplay. It was also the first time that two adapted Best Picture winners were nominated against each other. The Artist was also nominated for Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor for acclaimed French actor Jean Dujardin and American comedian Ben Stiller, respectively. As a result, this ceremony was also the first time that a foreign film won Best Picture, making it the second time that a foreign film won Best Picture since the first Best Picture award in 1929. In all, six of the films nominated for Best Picture were directed by six different directors.
With the exception of the Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor categories, which were both fully populated, the ceremonies had an open field of nominees in all 24 categories. The nominations process is highly competitive, with members of the Academy's branch committees and members of the wider motion picture industry eligible to nominate films as well as screenwriters, actors and actresses, and directors. Film industry professionals and members of the media determine the nominees, and winners are selected by a vote of the entire Academy membership.
The foreign-language film Oscar is one of the five competitive Academy Awards, along with Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, and Best Actress. Foreign-language films are eligible for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, which is presented at a separate ceremony. The Academy's rules state that the five Foreign Language Film Oscars may not be duplicated among the five competitive Academy Awards, although there have been several occasions where a film was nominated for more than one of the five competitive Academy Awards. In the first Academy Awards ceremony, held in 1929, the Academy presented the awards for Best Picture and Best Director to two films: the German silent film Nibelungen by Fritz Lang, and the American silent film The Immigrant by James Cruze. 827ec27edc