***1/2 (out of four)
So they don't make 'em like they used to, huh? Fondly remembering the innocence of late 1920s/early 1930s Hollywood, the black-and-white silent movie "The Artist" touches on an idea forever associated with "Singin' in the Rain": That once talkies came along, silent movie actors could either get with the times or watch as the industry forgot them. George Valentin (Cannes best actor winner Jean Dujardin) watches his star fall as Peppy Miller (Berenice Bejo), a woman discovered after stumbling onto the red carpet George was walking, becomes America's sweetheart. Co-starring John Goodman and James Cromwell, "The Artist" is a wonderful, funny nod to the movie business and the arbitrary celebrity projected onto people. It's character, the movie says sweetly, that helps even the biggest stars defend themselves and their ego against seeing an idol, not an ordinary person who happens to be famous, staring back at them in the mirror.
See it: 7 p.m. Oct. 20