- Starring: Jean Dujardin (OSS 117), Bérénice Bejo (OSS 117) and John Goodman (The Big Lebowski)
- Directed by: Michel Hazanavicius
- Synopsis: “Hollywood 1927. George Valentin is a very successful silent movie star. The arrival of talking pictures will mark the end of his career. Peppy Miller, a young woman extra, becomes a major movie star.” (collider)
- Rated: PG-13
“Bold! Extravagant! Nostalgic! Genius!
Finally, after a limited U.S. release on November 23, 2011 and wide release on January 20, 2011; and after feeling left out as so many other movie bloggers were able to see this film and review it (except me); the film distributors at last released this Award-winning and nominated masterpiece to my local theater! Excitement level: Off the charts!!
Currently #126 on IMDB’s Top 250 movies, The Artist has received 10 Oscar nominations for this year’s upcoming Academy Awards, won 3 out of 6 Golden Globe nominations (including Best Motion Picture- Comedy or Musical, Best Original Score, and Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture- Comedy or Musical), and continues to add to its impressive list of already 52 wins and 77 nominations. Needless to say I was just slightly intrigued to watch this black and white silent film.
I wish to take this moment to say “Thank You.” Thank you to director Michel Hazanavicius and all of the actors, cast and crew, music composers…everyone, that was involved in the making of this delightful film. Daring. Full of style with a fantastic use of music and portrayal of emotion. The Artist proves that you do not need to have a film full of violence, sex, drug usage, or profanity in order to still have a great film. While paying tribute to a classic style, Hazanavicius created an original one of his own that powerfully tells this entrancing and beautiful story of an actor dealing with feelings of becoming obsolete surround by a world that is changing quicker than he realizes (or chooses to).
The Artist completely impressed and delivered on the expectations that preceded my viewing. The infusion of certain sounds (yes, sound in a “silent” film), music, camera work, style, with the look and feel of films I grew up watching added a sense of authenticity and higher level of enjoyment that has been missing from Hollywood for quite some time. After many films lacking in originality and bold presentation, The Artist conjures up feelings of excitement and wonder that takes one back to the black and white classics of old that are enjoyed more on the Turner Classic Movies channel than on the big screen nowadays. Even with the use of current actors, I half expected to see James Cagney, Rita Hayworth, Dean Martin, Audrey Hepburn, Gene Kelly, Ginger Rogers, Fred Astaire, Bing Crosby, or Charlie Chaplin to show up. Casting Jean Dujardin and Bérénice Bejo as the leads works sublimely in adding to the setting of the film taking place in the past. Without the distraction of placing a current mega-star into the past, as it were, the casting lent itself to the believability of the characters possibly working alongside other greats of the time such as Claudette Colbert and Charlie Chaplin.
*(Some younger viewers may have NO idea who some of these mentioned actors of times past are. Perhaps The Artist will inspire them to go back and watch some of the classics starring those mentioned along with others such as Cary Grant, Gregory Peck, Bette Davis, Tracy Spencer, Gary Cooper, and more.)
Everyone can enjoy something in this film…and WILL! Director Hazanavicius is indeed an artist in his on right…and he created a masterpiece in The Artist.
Perfect cast, Perfect music, Perfect storytelling, Perfect cinematography, Perfect spirit, Perfect directing,…the Perfect Score:
Score: 5 out of 5 stars for The Artist (Go See It!!)
–T, The Focused Filmographer
Thanks for reading! Happy Watching!
up next: Review for “One for the Money” and “We Bought a Zoo”