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Movie Review: 'The Artist' -- 4 stars

Jean Dujardin

Jean Dujardin

The Artist
4 stars
Directed by Michel Hazanavicius
Starring Jean Dujardin Berenice Bejo, John Goodman, James Crom-well, Penelope Ann Miller
Rated PG-13

If you're getting sick and tired of the loud, special- effects-laden 3-D movies monopolizing theaters, there is no more perfect antidote than "The Artist."

The charming, silent black-and-white masterpiece from French director Michel Hazanavicius tells the story of a popular silent-film star, George Valentin, who finds his life in upheaval with the coming of talking pictures.

The film begins in 1927 Hollywood. When George (Jean Dujardin) is celebrating the release of his latest film, he meets a young dancer, Peppy Miller (Bérénice Bejo), whom he takes under his wing. Peppy's star begins to rise as George's begins to fade.

A silent film, "The Artist" relies on the music of Ludovic Bource as its only source of sound. The score not only captures the emotion of the film wonderfully, but it's also very catchy.

Hazanavicius is incredibly inventive with his shots, and a dream sequence that George has is downright inspired.

Dujardin won Best Actor at the Cannes Film Festival this year, and it's easy to see why: He has masterful control of his facial expressions and body language - like a modern-day Charlie Chaplin and Douglas Fairbanks rolled into one.

Bejo has a swoon-worthy smile and plays well against Dujardin. James Cromwell, John Goodman and Penelope Ann Miller - who play George's driver, director and wife - round out the stellar cast.

Follow Entertainment Editor Scott A. Rosenberg on Twitter: @RosenbergScottA 

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