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Bob Mondello's Fall Movie Preview: Thrills, Silence, And Harold And Kumar

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Deep breath ... summer blockbusters now officially a thing of the past, and I'm looking forward to quieter movies coming up.

One, actually, is reeeeeeeeally quiet: The Artist, a jazz-age epic that is, of all the crazy things to be in an age of digitally perfect sound, a silent movie. There's a logic, let's note. It's a silent movie about the end of Silent Movies back in the 1920s. Shot in black and white by French director Michel Hazanavicius with a few Hollywood names (John Goodman, Penelope Ann Miller, Malcolm McDowell), it tells a story about a big-screen leading man (Jean Dujardin) who's on his way out and a dancer (Berenice Bejo) who's on her way up. Neither silent star nor dancer needs words to be expressive, obviously, and apparently the film doesn't either, because it won Dujardin a Best Actor nod at Cannes, and was nominated for the Festival's top prize, the Palme d'Or.

I'm also intrigued by what George Clooney's throwing into the beginning of primary season: The Ides of March, a political thriller in which Clooney plays a presidential candidate and Paul Giamatti plays a rival political operative trying to seduce trusted staffer Ryan Gosling away from the campaign.

Both Artist and Ides are already being mentioned as Oscar candidates. Not being mentioned in the same breath anywhere but in this post: A Very Harold and Kumar 3D Christmas. Neil Patrick Harris apparently survived that whorehouse shooting in Texas. He's unrepentant. Can't wait.

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