Black and white… check. European pedigree… yup. Mostly silent with a retro vibe… most definitely. THE ARTIST fits all the requirements for an art film. And if it is an art film, it must be good, right? In this case, that’s sort of true. THE ARTIST is good, just not as great as the buzz would have you believe. It’s a little too cloying.. a little too calculating and a little too over the top “arty”. It’s like director Michael Hazanavicius took out a Mad Libs for how to get a lot of award nominations and simply filled in the blanks. But there are things to like about the movie.. that’s the acting. Jean Dujardin and Berenice Bejo are wonderful. Especially Dujardin. He is expressive without words and plays it just right. Then there’s the dog. The dog starts out cute, but by the end of the movie I’d had enough. Disney animated dogs aren’t this annoyingly adorable. But that fits into the calculated feeling I got throughout the film. Good yes, but THE ARTIST is not the best movie of the year. — Alan Yudman

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