What's this a silent film a contender for an Academy Award? No Michael Bay-plosions? No CG? No FX? But, rather well written characters and acting that engages the audience so that they care for the characters. What a revolutionary concept.Critics are forecasting Oscar glory for the French silent movie "The Artist," which landed distribution with The Weinstein Company (handlers of last year's Best Pic, "The King's Speech") after faring surprisingly well at Cannes this year. The homage to silent-era Hollywood is directed by Michel Hazanivicius, known in France for his "spy spoof movies," and stars Berenice Bejo and Jean Dujardin, who won Best Actor at Cannes for the role. There's also a few familiar faces: good ol' John Goodman turns up, as does character actor James Cromwell (the farmer from "Babe").While it would be incredible to see a throwback movie, silent, black and white, and starring two unknown leads, take the most mainstream award there is, it's worth noting The Weinstein Company also bought rights to the ugly stepchild at this year's Venice fest, Madonna's "W.E." That said, the combo of art house plus heartwarming could be just strange enough to win over film geeks and grandmas, and maybe the Academy.