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I saw The Artist today -- loved it!

The film, starring Jean Dujardin and Berenice Bejo, takes place in Hollywood during the transition from silent films to talkies. Over the span of five years (1927-1932), the movie tells the tale of silent film star George Valentin (Dujardin), whose career is undone by his misguided belief that talkies are just a fad. Bejo plays Peppy Miller, an extra during the silent era who becomes a major star in talkies. What's so striking about the movie is that it is itself a silent movie. Except for the musical score played during the film, there is almost no sound dialogue.

I thought all involved did a tremendous job evoking the period (in a lighthearted way) and Dujardin and Bejo are both well-cast. (It helps that Dujardin greatly resembles Douglas Fairbanks Sr.) John Goodman and James Cromwell provide able support as, respectively, the studio head and Valentin's chaueffer.

I won't give away any more as you really should experience this for yourself. All I can say is that it was a pleasure to walk out of a movie theater for once with a smile on my face!

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I enjoyed it very much, found it very charming and funny, and I'll happily watch it again when it comes out on DVD or Netflix. Bérénice Bejo and Jean Dujardin are excellent. She reminds me of Ruby Keeler, while he really plays up his remarkable resemblance to Gene Kelly, to good effect since it makes possible some literally unspoken movie-love jokes (a reference to the plot of Singin' in the Rain; Kelly was an American in Paris, Dujardin is a Parisian in America; and no doubt others I either missed or don't remember right now.)

And yet: It seems to me to be pretty lightweight to have been chosen picture of the year.

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Thanks for posting, Anthony_NYC. Given the competition I didn't mind seeing The Artist win. It's very tough for a movie to win the top prize when it's not chock full of Importance, so in a way it was a nice change from ordnance disposal, enigmatic serial killers, abdications, etc.

The movie is being compared to Singin' in the Rain but I'd not say it's anywhere near the level of the earlier film and in some ways the comparison is misleading. I like Bejo's lanky looks but her beauty is very contemporary and she didn't convince me as a starlet of the period although there was nothing wrong with her performance per se. Dujardin was marvelous and I expect that on a second viewing he will only get better.

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