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The Artist

In case you missed its low-profile release in the new year, it’s hard to recall an old-school heart-melter that does its job as efficiently as Michel Hazanavicius’s The Artist, about a pencil-moustached matinée idol struggling to deal with the advent of “talkies”. It is filmed in black and white and contains (almost) no dialogue. Here are three reasons to forget all that and to go and see it anyway: 

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1 Uggy: a Jack Russell terrier who’s a dab hand at playing dead and, in one tense sequence, saves his master from an unfortunate mishap involving highly flammable film stock.
2 The films within the film: tawdry spy capers (A Russian Affair and its follow-up, A German Affair), an overblown African adventure (Tears of Love), and a featherlight vehicle for a coquettish starlet (Beauty Spot).
3 The climax: an extended tap-dancing sequence that only a blind, heartless nincompoop would not appreciate. And we know you’re not that.

The Artist is out now