With 'The Artist,' 'Hugo' and 'My Week With Marilyn' all on screens, we round up the best films celebrating their own medium
8. "The Artist" (Michel Hazanavicius, 2011)
Yes, that’s how much I like this year’s hot Oscar contender, a joyous pastiche of classic silent cinema that transcends gimmickry to emerge as one of the all-time great self-reflexive Hollywood portraits. For all its wit and grace and irresistible dog-and-tap-dancing charms, however, what resonates about the film is a sadder strain of empathy: the fall and rise of George Valentin, a silent star undone by the advent of talkies, reflects any artist’s fear of being outgrown by their audience.