The Artist

A silent-film star does a favor for a young actress on the way up — a kindness she never forgets.  It’s a simple story, but it’s very well told.  The movie, a French-American co-production, is basically a love letter from the French film industry to Hollywood — although I suspect the film producers of that era weren’t nearly as sentimental as they are portrayed here.  Movie buffs will probably catch many more references to early Hollywood films than I picked up on.   No movie maker would want to return to limitations of the silent film era.  But, the movie reminds us, in a silent fim you have to pay close attention, which results in a more intense emotional connection between the audience and the actors than is common  in today’s multisensory extravaganzas.  The mostly French cast also includes American actors James Cromwell and John Goodman.  And Uggie the dog.

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