It is indeed noteworthy that the two most acclaimed movies by the industry this year, Hugo and The Artist, are about the genesis of film. In a time ruled by remakes and general lack of originality, it’s only natural that one might look into the golden ages of Cinema for comfort and inspiration, when everything and anything was possible as long as you could dream it. The Artist is a tribute, both story and style-wise, to the silent era of movies and it captures the fall from grace from a famed silent actor as talkies become increasingly popular. What could be used only as a tiring gimmick turns out to be vital to the storytelling and Michel Hazanavicius homage is present in his own stylized direction as he permeates each scene with a singular and familiar visual tone that has disappeared from nowadays cinema. Not only because it does not play with the artifice of sound but, most importantly, because it, like Scorsese’s Hugo, represents something that was abandoned and forgotten a long time ago. The fickleness of fame and the definition of success and longevity are very much the central themes, but one might also argue that it is nothing more than a simple love story between a mentor and his apprentice. Bérénice Brejo is simply adorable but Jean Dujardin is the true breakout talent of The Artist as he not only embodies the physicality of the early male movie actor, but also manages to impregnate his interpretation with the torturing demons of a fallen star, not far from Norma Desmond. Albeit a lot more empathetic, especially with his irresistible dog companion.