The sensation of the 2011 Cannes Film Festival was a silent film shot in black-and-white and in the boxy 1:33 screen ratio that was standard in the early days of moving pictures. But French director Michel Hazanariciu’s cinematic valentine is no post-modern academic exercise in the tropes of silent cinema; au contraire, his is a joyous, ebullient, full-bodied piece of filmmaking that employs many of the silent period’s narrative and technical conventions with such élan that he avoids the preserved-in-amber effect of previous attempts at resurrecting a bygone style. It’s Hollywood 1927. George Valentin (Jean Dujardin) is a silent movie superstar. The advent of the talkies will sound the death knell for his career and see him fall into oblivion. For young extra Peppy Miller (Berenice Bejo), it seems the sky’s the limit – major movie stardom awaits. The Artist tells the story of their interlinked destinies. With Penelope Ann Miller, James Cromwell, and a cigar-chomping John Goodman.