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Movie Review: The Artist

Alternate Title: Silence is Golden

Story: This film is a joy! It is visually dynamic, enchanting, fast-paced and guaranteed to leave you grinning ear to ear as you leave the theater. It is an homage to silent films and the characters that surrounded the beginning of cinema - brilliantly written and directed by Michel Hazanavicius.

Do not be frightened of a film that is in black and white and is also silent. You will love it. The plot is familiar - a self-involved superstar goes from riches to rags when the 'talkies' come along and his silent picture stardom goes down the drain. Will our hero return to stardom, fame and garner the adulation he once adored? Will the ingenue he discovered help him? Will his wonderful, trusty dog stay loyal?

There are a number of surprises during the film that will delight you (I will not reveal any of them). The film has great acting, fabulous music and the most incredibly cute dog ever! Do yourself a favor this holiday month and go see this wonderful film. You will not regret it.

Watch the trailer here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zzNhyZlTNAg

Acting: Jean Dujardin as George Valentin is superbly perfect. Bérénice Bejo as Peppy Miller will knock your socks off. James Cromwell as Clifton was terrific. Penelope Ann Miller as Doris was good. John Goodman as producer Al Zimmer was great and Uggie the Dog won the Canine D'Or at this year's Cannes Film Festival. Woof!

Predilection: None

Trivia: The role of Jack the dog was actually played by three matching Jack Russell Terriers; Uggie, Dash, and Dude. In actuality, the lead dog Uggie, did the majority of all the scenes except a few. All three dogs were colored before the filming began, made to look more alike each other. The Palm Dog Award is a yearly alternative award presented by the international film critics during the Cannes Film Festival. Begun in 2001. It is awarded to the best performance by a canine (live or animated) or group of canines during the festival. The award consists of a leather dog collar with the term “PALM DOG”. The name of the award is a play on words of the Palme d'Or, the festival's highest honor. Uggie won it this year for his performance in The Artist.

Critters: Uggie the dog - a remarkable Jack Russell Terrier

Sex Spectrum: None

Soundtrack: A wonderful soundtrack by Ludovic Bource.

Opening Titles: The opening titles are in the style of yore. A smile came onto my face from the get go and rarely left my face.

Visual Art: Attention to detail was throughout.

Theater Audience: Crowded for an opening weekend.

Sappy Factor: 0

Quirky Meter: If you think making a silent picture in 2011 is quirky - then so be it.

Squirm Scale: 0

Drift Factor: I paid attention throughout.

Predictability Level: High

Tissue Usage: 0

Oscar Worthy: Absolutely.

Big Screen or Rental: The big screen for sure.

Length: Under two hours.