The Artist (2011 96min.) [BBC1 11.45pm]
Silent romantic drama starring Jean Dujardin and Bérénice Bejo.
In 1927, matinée idol George Valentin is the toast of Tinseltown. A female fan charms him at the premiere of his latest film, and so begins the inexorable rise to fame of the talented Peppy Miller. But with the silent era giving way to the talkies, the future looks to be less bright for Valentin.
Michel Hazanavicius' film is part loving homage to the silent era of Hollywood film making and part artful reconstruction of the look, feel and techniques of that classic era in the early development of film making.
His two leads are superb : Dujardin is suave sophistication personified while Bérénice Bejo is at times a ball of frenetic energy and at others heartbreaking in her sorrow.
Among the supporting cast and cameos look out for James Cromwell, Penelope Ann Miller, Malcolm McDowell, Ed Lauter
and John Goodman.
It's a brilliantly executed tribute to a lost era : packed with warmth and a genuine delight to watch.