The Artist neatly sidesteps this unsolvable dilemma by ignoring everything that's fascinating and memorable about the era, focusing instead on a patchwork of general knowledge, so eroded of inconvenient facts that it doesn't even qualify as a roman à clef.
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The Artist is not just about black-and-white silent pictures. It is a black-and-white silent picture. And it's French.
A fascinating experiment is about to happen, and who doesn't want to be part of a little fun? That rarest of birds - a b&w silent film - is set to swoop into multiplexes. Trust us, it won't bite.
The Artist is movie love at its most anodyne; where Guy Maddin has used the conventions of silent film to express his loony psychosexual fantasias for more than a decade, Hazanavicius sweetly asks that we not be afraid of the past.
The film's charm and delight of discovery, plus its sterling international performances, could make it a breakout hit in theaters.
The Artist encapsulates everything we go to movies for: action, laughs, tears and a chance to get lost in another world. It just might leave you speechless. How can Oscar resist?
A brazen stunt that pays off. Writer-director Michel Hazanavicius, simultaneously channeling "Singin' in the Rain" and "A Star is Born," tells a story about 1920s Hollywood made in the style of that era.
Get ready for a smash hit. Gimmicky but delicious, this is a valentine to the movies I promise you will cherish.
It's a beautifully shot, beautifully acted piece of fluff.