And so on. For this portfolio, we picked 20 performers, each of whom has brilliantly inhabited a role that speaks to this moment in time. One of the most delightful depictions of the current emotional climate is Jean Dujardin’s in The Artist. He plays a silent-movie star named George Valentin, who is unwilling to adjust to talkies. Like individuals everywhere who feel replaced by the innovations of the modern world, he fights the system. He loses.
But the movie does have a kind of uplift at the end: Valentin makes a certain accommodation that allows him to return to the spotlight. His role in films will never be the same—he will never be the kind of star he was—but he is back. While it is not the future Valentin imagined or expected, it is the future he will have to accept. And that, in today’s world, passes for a happy ending.