"The Artist" (2011) is a movie romance directed by Michel Hazanavicius that is set in Hollywood in 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 (Bérénice Bejo), it seems the sky's the limit — major movie stardom awaits. "The Artist" tells the story of their interlinked destinies.

Hollywood, 1927. George Valentin (Jean Dujardin) is one of Hollywood's reigning silent screen idols, instantly recognizable with his slim moustache and signature white tie and tails. Starring in exotic tales of intrigue and derring-do, the actor has turned out hit after hit for Kinograph, the studio run by cigar-chomping mogul Al Zimmer (John Goodman). His success has brought him an elegant mansion and an equally elegant wife, Doris (Penelope Ann Miller). Chauffeured to the studio each day by his devoted driver Clifton (James Cromwell), George is greeted by his own smiling image, emblazoned on the posters prominently placed throughout the Kinograph lot. As he happily mugs for a rapturous fans and reporters at his latest film premiere, George is a man indistinguishable from his persona — and a star secure in his future.

For young dancer Peppy Miller (Bérénice Bejo), the future will be what she makes of it. Vivacious and good-humored, with an incandescent smile and a flapper's ease of movement, Peppy first crosses George's path at his film premiere and then as an extra on his latest film at Kinograph. As they film a brief dance sequence, the leading man and the newcomer fall into a natural rhythm, the machinery of moviemaking fading into the background. But the day must finally end, sending the matinee idol and the eager hopeful back to their respective places on the Hollywood ladder.

And Hollywood itself will soon fall under sway of a captivating new starlet: talking pictures. George wants no part of the new technology, scorning the talkie as a vulgar fad destined for the dustbin. By 1929, Kinograph is preparing to cease all silent film production and George faces a choice: embrace sound, like the rising young star Peppy Miller; or risk a slide into obscurity.

The film is directed by Michel Hazanavicious, who says, "What I love is to create a show, and for people to enjoy it and be aware that's what it is — a show. I'm interested in the stylization of reality, the possibility of playing with codes. That's how this idea of a film set in the Hollywood of the late '20s and early '30s, in black and white, was formed."

The cast includes Jean Dujardin, Bérénice Bejo, John Goodman, James Cromwell, Penelope AnnMiller, Missi Pyle, Beth Grant, Ed Lauter and Ken Davitian.

"The Artist" (2011) is a La Petite Reine, Studio 37, La Classe Américaine, JD Productions, France 3 Cinéma, Jouror Productions, uFilm, Canal Plus production. Producer is Thomas Langmann. Executive producers are Daniel Delume, Antoine De Cazotte and Richard Middleton.




FACTS

Genre: Romance
Runtime: 100 mins.
Release Date: November 23, 2011
MPAA: PG-13
Country: France
Distributor: The Weinstein Company
Production Companies:
La Petite Reine
Studio 37
La Classe Américaine
JD Productions
France 3 Cinéma
Jouror Productions
uFilm
Canal Plus





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