New this week:
The Artist **** (out of four stars) Everything old is new again in this deft, delightful black-and-white silent film set in late-1920s Hollywood, as the industry transitions to talking pictures - leaving some of its biggest stars behind. With Jean Dujardin as a screen idol, and Bérénice Bejo as the ingenue he mentors and falls for, as her career takes off and his plummets. Playing at: Ritz Five, Ambler Theater, Bryn Mawr Film Institute, and Rave Motion Pictures at the Ritz Center/NJ. PG-13 (adult themes)
The Festival of Light: Matisyahu, with Cris Cab. Matisyahu, the West Chester-born rapper, and his band, Dub Trio, are set to release Akedah: Teaching to Love in 2012. It's based on the biblical story in which Abraham offershis son Isaac to God as a sacrifice. Matisyahu has stated he's also planning a poppier, somewhat secular, hip-hop album. Could there be some contradiction for Matisyahu in this nonreligious music? Will he eventually perform on Friday nights? Will his annual Festival of Light appearances, like the one Saturday, hold different messages? Who knows? A surer guess is that Matisyahu will remain the steadfast, smart, and passionate lyricist he has been since the days of JDub releases such as Shake Off the Dust ... Arise. He and Dub Trio will continue to play music that embraces all manner of soul, sacred, and secular. Another bet: His face won't look so darn naked to audiences once the shock
of the new wears off.
A Brandywine Christmas. The Brandywine River Museum is offering a special Christmas celebration Saturday and next week with a "step-in" dollhouse, rooms filled with exquisite handcrafted furnishings, a display of rare antique dolls, an O-gauge model train with 2,000 feet of track, and Ann Wyeth McCoy's adult-size dollhouse, plus thousands of whimsical ornaments made from natural materials.