POSTED: Saturday, February 25, 2012 - 6:30pm
UPDATED: Saturday, February 25, 2012 - 6:34pm
NBC NATIONAL NEWS — Hollywood's award season culminates Sunday with the main event.
The 84th Academy Awards will honor the movie industry's best from the past year, and there could be an echo from Oscar's very first year.
The silent film "Wings" won the equivalent of "Best Picture" at the very first academy awards back in 1929.
For the first time since then, silence could again be golden.
"Everybody's fallen in love with 'The Artist'," says Yahoo! Movies contributing editor Thelma Adams.
Eight other films are best picture contenders, including the civil rights tale "The Help",
the family drama "The Descendants" and the storybook fantasy "Hugo".
Still, it's "The Artist", a black and white, silent homage to the dawn of talkies that's expected to charm Academy voters.
"The Artist" star, Frenchman Jean Dujardin, is also a co-favorite for Best Actor, along with "The Descendants" George Clooney.
Best Actress is seen as another duel between Viola Davis of "The Help" Viola Davis and "The Iron Lady" star Meryl Streep, a two-time Oscar winner.
"It does sound weird to say Meryl Streep winning an Oscar would be an upset, but you have to remember, it's been almost 30 years since she won an Oscar," notes Entertainment Weekly's Dave Karger.
Christopher Plummer has never won an Oscar, but he's expected to for his performance in "Beginners".
He's dominated Best Supporting Actor throughout award season.
Octavia Spencer of "The Help" has done the same with Best Supporting Actress.
"The two of them really do deserve all the awards that they've gotten, including the Oscar that they will surely win this weekend," says Karger.
Billy Crystal will be serving as Academy Awards host for the ninth time, but it's his first time since 2004.