The Artist

Rated PG-13 100 minutes 2011

Gimmicky but cute. The French team of actor Jean Dujardin and writer-director Michel Hazanavicius (the OSS 117 spy spoof series) takes a time-machine ride back to 1920s Hollywood for the story of a vain silent-movie star (Dujardin) whose career fizzles with the coming of talkies. Meanwhile, his girlfriend (pretty Bérénice Bejo), a walk-on extra, becomes a star herself. The gimmick is that the actors – all of them, including supporting players John Goodman and James Cromwell – act without sound until the movie’s final scene. It’s just as well, since Dujardin apparently doesn’t speak English. Once we factor in the scenario’s resemblance to Sunset Boulevard, A Star Is Born, and Singin’ in the Rain, there’s nothing much original to hang onto except Dujardin’s signature mugging. (100 min.)

Film Credits

Official Site: weinsteinco.com/sites/the-artist

Director: Michel Hazanavicius

Producer: Thomas Langmann, Daniel Delume, Antoine De Cazotte and Richard Middleton

Cast: Jean Dujardin, Bérénice Bejo, John Goodman, James Cromwell, Penelope Miller, Missi Pyle, Beth Grant and Ed Lauter

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