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Terrific action, but contrived plot and saccharine ending result in weak outing for this tyro director

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Jean Dujardin, star of silent French movie "The Artist," which is favoured to win the Oscar for Best Picture, laughs at foolish Americans at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival in Santa Barbara, Calif., on Saturday.

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Berenice Bejo, co-star of "The Artist" and accomplice of Jean Dujardin, is smug and superior and so French at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival on Saturday.

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A Gallicly confident Jean Dujardin further pursues his nefarious aims at the Academy Awards nominees luncheon in Beverly Hills on Monday.

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A bemused George Clooney arrives at the Academy Awards nominees luncheon in Beverly Hills, Calif., on Monday.

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German comedian Michael Kessler arrives on the red carpet for the "Goldene Kamera" (Golden Camera) awards ceremony in Berlin last week.

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Denzel Washington at the "Goldene Kamera" (Golden Camera) awards ceremony in Berlin last week.

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Rachel McAdams goes with seafoam at the premiere of "The Vow" in Hollywood on Monday.

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"Seafoam!" laugh Channing Tatum and his wife, actress Jenna Dewan-Tatum, at the premiere of "The Vow" in Hollywood on Monday. And now back to our silent feature . . .

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Daniel Radcliffe attends a screening of his surprisingly well received non-Harry Potter movie, "The Woman in Black," in Los Angeles last week.

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M.I.A. makes a routine obscene gesture that lasts one quarter of a second during the Super Bowl halftime show in Indianapolis on Sunday.

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Scarlett Johansson attends the Golden Camera awards ceremony in Berlin last week.

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Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson attends the premiere of "Journey 2: The Mysterious Island" in Hollywood last week.

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Vanessa Hudgens at the Hollywood premiere of "Journey 2: The Mysterious Land" last week.

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