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 New Yorker by Anthony Lane
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.
Village Voice by Melissa Anderson
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.
Boxoffice Magazine by Pete Hammond
The film's charm and delight of discovery, plus its sterling international performances, could make it a breakout hit in theaters.
Rolling Stone by Peter Travers
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?
Miami Herald by Rene Rodriguez
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.
The A.V. Club by Tasha Robinson
It's a beautifully shot, beautifully acted piece of fluff.