It's also a great metaphor for the times.
The protagonist of The Artist, George Valentin, is a silent film star when technological advancement turns his world upside down.
The film industry is facing a similar time of great change.
The digital revolution is changing a lot of things, and movies are not immune. I can see a day where the overwhelming majority of movies are released online, streamed immediately at home or on mobile devices, movie theaters a thing of the past, much like their drive-thru brethren. I'm not exactly sure how that might affect the economics of movies, but I have a feeling many people involved in film are unsure what the future holds for their industry.
The Artist perfectly captures that feeling of uncertainty. Taking the analogy even further, the digital world changes things for a lot of people. What are the jobs of the future going to be? And will there be one for me? George Valentin found a way to adapt, and that, to me, is the theme of The Artist. Despite huge changes, creative people will find a way to adapt.
So yes, The Artist is charming. And yes, Jean Dujardin is a fine dancer.
The Artist resonates for me because it comments on the future by showing us the past. That's not easy to do, in any art form.