Silent film hopes to make noise at Globes

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Silent film hopes to make noise at Globes

LOS ANGELES - Silent French-directed film “The Artist” hopes to make a lot of noise at the Golden Globe Awards on Sunday, aiming to add to a string of awards and nominations ahead of the all-important Oscars.

But it faces stiff competition from a slew of films starring A-listers including George Clooney, Angelina Jolie and Meryl Streep, who was nominated for her gripping turn as British premier Margaret Thatcher in “The Iron Lady.”

British comic Ricky Gervais is meanwhile promising a no-holds-barred performance in his third time as Globes host, invited back despite ruffling some Hollywood feathers with near-the-bone jokes at last year’s show.

“They have got to know I am going to do the same again,” he said on the eve of the show. “They can expect the same as last year, with different - I nearly said ‘targets’ - different subjects and different jokes.”

“The Artist,” by French filmmaker Michel Hazanavicius, tops the Globes nominees this year with nods in six categories, including best musical or comedy and best director.

The film, billed as a tribute to the silent movie era, tells the story of silent star George Valentin (Jean Dujardin) whose career is torpedoed by the arrival of the “talkies.”

It won best film and best director at the New York Film Critics Circle awards in November and has garnered a string of nods since - including this week from the Directors Guild of America, seen as a key Oscars indicator.

It won yet another prize just three days before the Globes, taking the Critics’ Choice best film award in Los Angeles on Thursday evening.

But it also drew unusually harsh criticism this week when veteran star Kim Novak, in a full-page ad in industry daily Variety, accused Hazanavicius of “rape” for using music from the Alfred Hitchcock classic “Vertigo.” AFP
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