The Artist  

23 Mar

The Artist

                    

2012 Academy Award Best Picture

 Review: If anyone had said to me go out today and see a silent black and white film about the end of the silent black & white film era made by a French director I would think they are out of their minds. What modern audience of the CGI, blow em up, loud, noisy and bad remake era would spend their money to see this?!

French filmmaker Michel Hazanaviciu has made a masterpiece of story telling with the sound being incendiary to the incredible images. The story is a Hollywood tale set from 1927 through the early 1930’s.  Jean Dujardin plays George Valentin a very famous actor in silent films of bygone days. His face and smile pull at your heart-strings, make you laugh at his antics with his dog (who has a ton of personality), and makes you cry as his career wains as talkies become all the rage. Mind you there is no talking just music until the last few minutes of the film. The music is a throwback to the time and place and helps move the story along.

Valentin befriends an aspiring actress Peppy Miller played by an endearing Berenice Bejo. Valentin is responsible for her career in a small gesture of properly paced makeup in the form of a beauty spot above her lip, as his career ends with the silents her career begins with the talkies. Miller falls in love with Valentin and as his life falls apart unbeknownst to him she has secretly been his guardian angel.

The cast is rounded out by John Goodman as the studio mogul, James Cromwell as Valentin’s driver and friend as well as Penelope Ann Miller.

Like the movie Hugo, this is an homage to the movies. It is entertaining, joyful, and uses images as it’s story telling language as did the greats such as Chaplin, Keaton etc. Some of the movie homages include a wink at the famous Greta Garbo line “I want to be alone.” , imagery that includes Penny Miller movie titles such as The Guardian Angel and The Beauty Mark, and a brilliant dance number reminiscent of Astaire and Rodgers.

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4 Responses to “The Artist  ”

  1. gracekoelma May 31, 2013 at 7:30 pm #

    Hi Randy, this ha got to be one of my all time favourite movies. I gave it a 5 out of 5 on my blog. http://wp.me/p3p916-s

    What was your overall impression?

    • cinemareviewsandcommentary May 31, 2013 at 7:35 pm #

      My overall impression was that it was brilliant story telling. The images blew me away. One of my favorite of all time. More should be made like this. It was cinema artistry.

      • gracekoelma May 31, 2013 at 7:37 pm #

        hear hear. Thanks for your review. I’ll follow and keep up with other reviews you put up on here. 🙂

      • cinemareviewsandcommentary May 31, 2013 at 7:38 pm #

        Please do and thanks.

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