The Artist - a surprise Oscar contender

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Media captionThe Artist has been a hit at film festivals

Here's my report on The Artist - a silent film shot in black-and-white - that has won praise from critics and become an unlikely contender for an Oscar nomination.

Most of the actors are unknown and the story takes place in the Hollywood of the 1920s and 30s as silent cinema slipped out of fashion.

But as its director, Michel Hazanavicius, tells me, it's essentially a modern film. "It was very important not to try and make a fake 1920s movie."

Film critic Kate Muir is one of its many admirers. "It's a beautifully shot movie. It's sophisticated, clever and it's very funny indeed."