Movie Review: The Artist
Chances are The Artist will be your new favourite film. This French film has a fresh script, smart direction and a charming central performance by Jean Dujardin. Also, the film is in black-and-white and it’s silent. This French film has taken the world by storm, and is a front runner in all major categories at almost every awards ceremony so far this year,
Directed by Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist tells the story of Dujardin’s George Valentin, the quintessential star of the American silent film era. Everyone loves him and his films, but in a cruel twist of fate, a technological breakthrough becomes Valentin’s eventual downfall: the transition from silent films to “talkies” in the late ’20s and early ’30s (watch the trailer below).
As audiences yearn for these novel films with proper dialogue in the new Golden Era of Hollywood, silent films and their stars quickly become a thing of the past. In this new age of film, it’s all about the likes of Peppy Miller (Bérènice Bejo), a girl Valentin accidentally discovered, who becomes a superstar while Valentin descends into a life full of regret and frustration. All the former star has now is his loyal dog (Uggie), a definite scene-stealer, with whom he forms an endearing bond.
Hazanavicius’s direction is so authentic that The Artist could well have been an actual ’20s film. Nonetheless, the less one says about The Artist, the better. This of course is meant as a compliment, as viewers should find out for themselves just how absolutely sublime this film is. Jean Dujardin carries the entire film on his broad shoulders and charming smile – he is sure to go places. Berenice Bejo plays the seductive dancer-cum-actress very naturally. John Goodman and James Cromwell add some star value with their short but strong roles.
The Artist would be one film that, if it were to happen, would deservedly win a Best Picture Oscar. The attention to detail is amazing for this kind of film and every department has done a remarkable job. This film is an ode to good cinema, and a win for The Artist would really be a triumph for cinema itself. Yes, The Artist is authentic cinema in its true essence and this wholesome entertainer of a film has some true intelligence for which it should be lauded.
Click play to watch the trailer below:
This movie review is part of a Newsline series that looks at some of the Oscar-nominated films for 2012. Hugo received 11 Academy Award nominations.
Click on the links below to read more reviews on Oscar-nominated films:
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