The Artist, starring Jean Dujardin and Bérénice Bejo, has been a surprise hit at festivals and in cinemas, despite being a silent move in black and white.
It was nominated for best film and best director by the New York Film Critics Circle two weeks ago.
Dujardin, a well-known comic actor in France, won best actor award at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival, where the film premiered.
The film, which had a mixed cast and crew of both French and US nationality, was made in Los Angeles and is a love story set against the background of the replacement of silent cinema by the talkies.
Other results included:
- The Help, about black servants in pre-civil rights southern US, and The Descendants, starring George Clooney, tied for second place with five nominations each;
- Clooney-directed political drama The Ides of March, Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris and Moneyball, starring Brad Pitt. won four;
- TV top nominees were HBO series Boardwalk Empire, NBC's 30 Rock and Fox's Glee.
The Help won the most nominations – four - on Wednesday for the Screen Actors’ Guild awards, which along with the Globes are seen as a key indicator to success in the Oscars.