G and I watched The Artist the other night on DVD. It's a beautifully shot movie, lyrical in its evocation of 1920s Hollywood. It's amazing that a French movie was devoted to Hollywood and shot in LA.
Incidentally, we debated for some tie whether Uggie the Dog stole the show or overacted. (Conclusion: stole the show!)
Something about the movie resonated with enough people to deliver a Best Movie Oscar. Yes, it was a wonderful production. Yes, it was evocative movie nostalgia, which must play well with the Academy. But I wonder if the storyline - silent movie star is ruined by the advent of talkies, but eventually makes a partial comeback in dance - is part of the reason in itself. It's about fear of the disruptive effects of technological change. One minute you're up, living in a mansion and pictured on billboards. Next minute you're down. It's not just about the late 1920s.
Technological change is a frequent movie theme, of course - usually some malevolent robot or computer taking over the world, like Skynet or Hal. But this is about technology mixed with abrupt shifts in popular taste. G says it's like the fashion industry. One minute you're in, one minute you're out.