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The Artist: A crowd-pleaser that's also ingenious

Bérénice Bejo (right) and Jean Dujardin in "The Artist"

4 out of 4 stars


Directed by Michel Hazanavicius (France)

Black-and-white and mostly silent, this Cannes crowd-pleaser is an homage to the movies when the screen was still silver. Mixing French stars Jean Dujardin and Bérénice Bejo with an American cast (John Goodman, James Cromwell and Penelope Ann Miller), this twenties-set fantasy follows a Douglas Fairbanks-like dashing movie star, George Valentin (Dujardin), adored by women and accompanied by his clever Jack Russell terrier. But George becomes a has-been when the talkies arrive, until he's helped out by an ingénue, Peppy Miller (Bejo). With elements of A Star Is Born and Singing in the Rain, The Artist is a rarity, an ingenious crowd-pleaser.

Sept. 9, 6 p.m., Elgin; Sept. 10, 10 a.m., Lightbox 2

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Film critic

Liam Lacey is a film critic for The Globe and Mail. More

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