The refusal of Jean Dujardin‘s Valentin to venture into sound is due to his French accent, which he fears will be a career killer. Why not then return to France, “the home of cinema”, and join Marcel Pagnol, Jean Renoir, Jean Vigo and Marcel Carne “who were making, or about to make, films that entrance audiences to this day?,” asks The Economist‘s “Prospero.”

This is not an option, he explains, because Valentin “is so in love with Hollywood that he would rather fail there, even to the brink of suicide, than return to ply his trade in France. If the actor’s vocal ‘flaw’ had been an accent that revealed unacceptably working-class origins, sympathy would be genuinely merited. Still, this is a major star and, we are assured by the very title, a true artist. But he’d rather die! He’d rather be a second-rate hoofer in Hollywood than anything else anywhere.”