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The Artist, Berenice Bejo, Jean Dujardin

The Weinstein Company

The Artist isn't for everybody.

It's a black-and-white silent film from a French director.

But those who love it, really love it. The movie is getting all kinds of awards-season buzz...

The Artist centers on a silent movie star (Jean Dujardin) romancing a young dancer (Bérénice Bejo) just when talkies arrive.

Malcolm McDowell has a very small cameo in the movie. He admits he wasn't sure what to think when he heard director Michel Hazanavicius wanted to meet with him.

"I went to meet him and I said, 'Oh my God,'" McDowell told me last night at the film's AFI Fest presented by Audi premiere. "You're French, you're coming to L.A., you're making a silent movie in black-and-white—how much is it costing and how much you gonna lose?"

He kids. "I maybe thought that, but I didn't say that," McDowell said.

James Cromwell, who plays a Hollywood chauffeur in the movie, is hopeful come awards time. "Good films often don't get recognized," he said. "But I think this one has legs."

After the packed screening, cast and crew headed to Bombay Sapphire's VIP party at French restaurant the Little Door.