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The Weinstein Company Make First Big Buy At Cannes, Pick Up Black & White Silent Film 'The Artist'

Photo of Kevin Jagernauth By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist May 11, 2011 at 2:02AM

While the Weinsteins are no strangers to picking up movies that are tough to market, they've really outdone themselves this time. But we have to applaud the distributors for taking on a film that frankly, not many would take a chance on.
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While the Weinsteins are no strangers to picking up movies that are tough to market, they've really outdone themselves this time. But we have to applaud the distributors for taking on a film that frankly, not many would take a chance on.

Deadline report that The Weinstein Company have walked away with the first big buy of the festival, Michel Hazanavicius' "The Artist." This black-and-white, silent film (yes, really) stars Jean Dujardin, Berenice Bejo, John Goodman, James Cromwell, Missi Pyle and Penelope Ann Miller tell the tale of George Valentin, a silent movie star whose career seems at an end with the arrival of the talkies, while a beautiful young extra sees the new format as opportunity to make her name. Advance buzz on this one -- which was a later addition to the festival lineup -- has been growing and we're sure the Sunday premiere for the film will become a very hot ticket screening.

While a handful of buyers were apparently chasing the film, we think the Weinsteins have the best chances for selling "The Artist" to a mainstream audience. It will require the kind of marketing savvy Harvey and the boys have in spades. And they've got big plans for the flick. The film will be prepped for an Oscar season release later this year. In case you missed it, here are a ton of gorgeous stills from the film.

So, one down of many more acquisitions to come—and the festival hasn't even started. Things officially kick off tomorrow with Woody Allen's "Midnight In Paris" opening the fest.

This article is related to: Film Studios, Foreign Films, The Weinstein Company, The Artist


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