Looking at its story and themes, it is probably not that difficult to see why, because although its director and stars are French, it is actually a love letter to Old Hollywood that blends elements of Singin' In The Rain and A Star is Born in a celebration of good old fashioned movie-making.
Set in Los Angeles in the late 1920s, it begins just as sound in movies is starting to take a hold over the industry.
Matinee idol and action star George Valentin (Jean Dujardin) is at the top of the tree, beloved by everyone, when he has an encounter with a young woman, Peppy Miller (Berenice Bejo), who wants to be a star.
Thanks to his influence, she gets a small role in one of his films, though it fails to work out and they drift apart.
But with the arrival of the talkies during the next couple of years, the head of the studio (John Goodman) takes the decision that all their productions in the future will be sound.
George is out and, as his star begins to fade, Peppy's is on the rise.
Though occasional title cards are required just to get some of the finer points of the plot across, the almost complete absence of dialogue is never a hindrance.
You might wonder just how it can be achieved, how a silent movie can possibly work in this day and age, but somehow they pull it off, thanks to its boundless charm, huge laughs and a pair of exquisite lead performances.
At the film's heart is a glorious physical performance from Dujardin. It doesn't hurt that he looks like Douglas Fairbanks, but he still needs to be expressive, agile and charismatic, and he convinces utterly. He can even dance.
The Artist shimmers, looking like it was made in the 20s, with nothing to betray its modernity, with much to say about progression from the old to the new, the death of one thing and the birth of another, and it still has its place in the 21st Century.
But it is a one-joke movie, albeit a very nice joke.
It's not a reinvention of the wheel as many seem to think, but it is a whole lot of fun.
Director: Michel Hazanavicius
Running time: 100 mins
THE IRON LADY (12A)
POTENTIALLY problematic ground is trodden in this compassionate biopic of one of the most controversial British figures of the 20th Century, former prime minister Margaret Thatcher.
It begins with an elderly Thatcher (Meryl Streep), still having conversations with her husband Denis (Jim Broadbent), not realising through her fog of dementia that he has been dead for several years.
There are brief flashbacks to her as a teenager during the war, and her fledgling political career in the 50s, where she meets and marries Denis.
But mostly it's a race through the political landscape of the 70s and 80s, years that bring her rise to the leadership of the Conservative party and eventually to Number 10.
In between it comes back to the present, and how she copes in her mentally fragile state.
The structure helps to break things up a bit, but it still often feels more like you're watching a history lesson more than a movie, playing up Thatcher's biggest moments, from the Falklands to the miners' strike, with bombings to spice it up.
Holding it together is Streep's mesmerising performance, much more than just an impersonation, although the voice is amazing and the make-up helps.
She radiates stature and authority, but also brings an emotional range and poignancy, so that equally she's touching as a frail old lady.
Of course, most people over a certain age will bring their own baggage to the film, depending on their views and on what the 80s brought for them, and no matter how sympathetically this tries to paint her, they may not be willing to overlook that.
That's fair enough, but it's a bit of a disservice to the film itself which, whatever you may think of Thatcher, you should see for Streep.
Director: Phyllida Lloyd
MOTHER AND CHILD (15)
ANNETTE Bening stars in this measured drama as a nurse in her early 50s who gave her baby up for adoption when she was just 14.
She's never known her, but we meet her, now 37 and played by Naomi Watts, as a successful lawyer starting a new job at Samuel L. Jackson's firm.
Though neither are seeking the other, their pasts have damaged them to the extent they seem unable to have normal interactions, but what begin as cold and potentially off-putting characters are presented in fresh enough situations to make us drawn to their stories.
It's a potent process that develops in ways that are both unexpected and affecting, with many fine actors doing accomplished work, and though it's a film that's been on the festival circuit since 2009, its release now makes it well worth seeking out.
Director: Rodrigo Garcia
Running time: 126 mins
NICE guy Doug (Seann William Scott) is a bouncer of little brain who gets a trial for his local ice hockey team after they witness his fighting abilities.
Even though he can barely skate, he ends up at a minor league Canadian team as an enforcer to protect their star player and get him out of his slump, which puts Doug on a collision course with another legendary destroyer (Liev Schreiber).
Funny and sweet, brutal and profane in equal measure, this makes up in amiability and one-liners what it lacks in storytelling.
Characters are flat and there are more hockey scenes than are ideal, but a likeable and convincing Scott, left, keeps it on track and there's a certain compulsive appeal to the violence.
Director: Michael Dowse
Running time: 91 mins