An honest-to-goodness black-and-white silent picture made by modern French filmmakers in Hollywood, USA, The Artist is a spirited, hilarious and moving delight. A sensation in Cannes, Michel Hazanavicius’ playful love letter to the movies’ early days spins on a variation on an A Star Is Born-like relationship between a dashing Douglas Fairbanks-style star (Jean Dujardin, who won the best actor prize in Cannes) whose career wanes with the coming of sound and a dazzling young actress (Berenice Bejo) whose popularity skyrockets at the same time. Meticulously made in the 1.33 aspect ratio with intertitles and a superb score, The Artist has great fun with silent film conventions just as it rigorously adheres to them, turning its abundant love for the look and ethos of the 1920s into a treat that will be warmly embraced by movie lovers of every persuasion. With James Cromwell, Penelope Ann Miller and John Goodman as a definitive cigar-chomping studio boss. A Weinstein Company release.
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