It is hard to discuss The Artist without acknowledging how special it is, and it will likely ride a wave of that kind of affection straight to the podium to accept the Best Picture Oscar. A black-and-white silent movie from out of nowhere, this is not the sort of film Hollywood bets on—which is why Hollywood loses so much money on remakes of Conan the Barbarian. A very simple story set at the pivot point when silent movies gave way to talkies, The Artist shows two careers at the crossroads. As George Valentin (Jean Dujardin) fades away, Peppy Miller (Bérénice Bejo) becomes America’s first sweetheart of the sound era. This is a beautiful film start to finish, one of the very few movies from 2011 you’ll remember just as fondly in, say, 2013.
Director: Michel Hazanavicius
Producer: Thomas Langmann, Daniel Delume, Antoine De Cazotte and Richard Middleton
Cast: Jean Dujardin, Bérénice Bejo, John Goodman, James Cromwell, Penelope Ann Miller and Missi Pyle