Artois the Goat is a quirky, independent film, that is enjoyable to watch, that I will probably not remember in six months.
The first half of the film is reasonably good. There is a nice chemistry between Virgil and Angie. The early on picnic scene is wonderful and sets up for a revisit much later in the film. But Virgil is a bit strange; he's a laboratory assistant for a person that develops flavors. He is a bit Bartleby. He is also a cheese lover and buys raw cheese on the black market. One day his cheese dealer sells him a book on cheese making. Virgil decides to give it all up, move to the country, buy two goats, and make the perfect goat cheese. He does all this without telling Angie. The film turns awkward as the inevitable happens. Actually the film jumps the shark when we see Virgil talking with a grave digger fanatic sitting fully clothed on the toilet.
There is an homage to Bergman, The Seventh Seal, that is over played. The photography is well done, in focus, nice colors, and good framing (although the director doesn't do much with dramatic framing, he prefers most shots with the character front and centered in the frame). The scenery is lovely. The goats are cute. The acting is pretty good. Angie was the stand out. Virgil was at times compelling and believable, and other times just annoying. By far the most annoying was Yens, the black market cheese dealer. I felt like he was doing a film in High School and dressed up like an adult, there wasn't an authentic feeling to his character.
The film is not rated. I would imagine PG-13 is not far off from reasonable. There was no nudity, I don't remember much strong language, and there was no drug or alcohol use. It is a fairly innocent film.
I love to support independent film. Sometimes working within a small budget can produce wonderful films. Sometimes it produces middle of the road films. I was not blown over by this film, nor did I hate it. With a little better cast, and maybe a script that didn't try so hard to be different, the directors / writers will make a great next film.
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About the reviewer
Dan lebryk (ZeeDan)
Aug 5, 2010
Nov 13, 2010 06:55 PM UTC
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To reclaim the heart of his beloved Angie, hapless lab technician Virgil Gurdie embarks on an epic quest to create nothing less than the greatest goat cheese the world has ever known. Despite his lack of resources, experience, or basic competency in the field of agriculture, Virgil heads for the hills (literally) with a felonious German baker, a grave-digging hermit, and a tiny white goat named Artois. Virgil has no choice but to craft a cheese that will change the world.
An accomplished, beautifully shot, directed and musically scored art comedy... --Chris Garica, Austin American Statesman