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The Artist

A movie directed by Michel Hazanavicius

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True Artistry

  • Sep 17, 2011
Rating:
+4

THE ARTIST

Written and Directed by Michel Hazanavicius

Starring Jean Dujardin, Berenice Bejo, John Goodman and James Cromwell

 

George Valentin (on a title card): I won’t talk. I won’t say a word!

 

Some critics would be hard pressed to find genuine artistry in the film industry today, but they needn’t look any further than THE ARTIST, French director, Michel Hazanavicius’s homage to another era. It is a fine celebration of the cinema and the art involved in making the movies feel magical. True to the period in which it is set (Hollywood, 1927), the film is black and white, shot in the more box-y 1.33:1 aspect ratio and, perhaps most notably, the film is silent. Somehow though, without a single word uttered throughout, THE ARTIST keeps you hanging on every frame.

 

George Valentin (Jean Dujardin), the artist in THE ARTIST, believes the introduction of sound into film to be a gimmick, a passing fad. You and I both know how very wrong he was but he held true to the cinema’s authentic and humble origins. His refusal to grow and change with the times finds him falling out of favour with his studio and subsequently continuing to fall, only this time on hard times. Meanwhile, the woman he is in love with, actress Peppy Miller (Berenice Bejo, Hazanavicius’s wife) is being swept up in the emerging success of the “talkies”. Valentin must essentially adapt or die; he must find his voice again in order to finally be heard by his public and the woman he loves. As simple as the plot is, it is its refined execution that makes the whole exercise seem effortless, allowing nothing but great warmth and passion to emanate from the screen.

 

It’s funny how we take things like dialogue for granted and it’s hard to believe that the movies really were like this at one point in time. As demonstrated in the film’s opening sequence, elegant theatres would be filled to capacity with patrons decked out in their finest wares, anxiously awaiting the latest screen adventures of their favorite Hollywood stars. An orchestra would not only fill the room with music but it would also fill the silence between the actors on the screen. Emotion and intention needed to be clearly communicated without speaking in order for the film to be successful. And while it may at times come off as exaggerated or false, the point was usually made. By honouring the silent film and doing it such great justice, THE ARTIST almost renders the usage of words completely pointless.



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November 26, 2011
I have no idea how I missed this before but awesome review!
 
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More The Artist reviews
review by . December 31, 2011
The little dog saves the day - Not overly impressed with The Artist
A lot of people really like this movie.  A lot of critics really like this movie.  The judges at Cannes really liked this movie.   So I went to see The Artist with lots of high expectations.  Maybe I read too many reviews and critical analysis of the film.   Maybe I was expecting too much.  But I was somewhat disappointed with the movie.   For me the best thing about the movie was the very talented little dog who steals the show in my opinion.   I felt the …
review by . December 30, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
**** out of ****    "The Artist" has all the qualities and bare essentials of your everyday cinematic crowd-pleaser; minus the fact that most films these days aren't (almost) completely silent, whereas this one is (fair warning to those who value sound in cinema). A film of good humor and charm, it had its premiere at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival, where it was met with much acclaim. I was finally given the grand opportunity of seeing the film a few evenings ago at the Angelika …
review by . December 31, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
The Artist has the opportunity to alienate a lot of people before anyone even steps up to the ticket counter. The movie is done in black and white, it is mostly a silent movie, and there is little chance you will recognize either lead actor. While this may deter some people from seeing it I encourage you not to be one of them. The Artistis a beautifully crafted movie, and within a couple months may be declared the best movie of the year.      The Artist is a silent …
review by . January 23, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
   Michel Hazanavicius' reverence towards the artistry of the era of silent films lashes out a poetic mediation on Hollywood and also on the life of the artists that we adore. "The Artist" jumps over the gimmick form and gives it's content a great value. Filled with emotion and joy, the film succeeds to deliver not only one of the best tributes to our cinema but also one of the sweetest love stories and stories of struggle and dedication.      The …
review by . November 26, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Star Rating:         The Artist is cinematic perfection – a joyous celebration of everything that makes the movies so wonderful. Set during the end of Hollywood’s silent era, it surely must have been a labor of love for writer/director Michel Hazanavicius, because in this day and age, a filmmaker does not lightly make the decision to tell an image-driven story in the language of melodrama. He pays careful attention to the technical aspects. It’s a …
review by . June 27, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
As the story opens, it is 1929, and we meet George Valentin, a dashing matinée idol who thrills his fans with his silent movies. He meets a star-struck young lady named Peppy and helps her get into show business as a extra. Soon, she's rising to super-stardom, while George's star begins to fade.      This is a gimmick movie; a silent, black and white homage to silent and early talkies. The actors mug and ham it up throughout the film, the story is sweet and predictable, …
Quick Tip by . March 12, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
Caption
Ok, so I had a little too many Irish coffees when I went to see this with my friends (they‘re a couple so they were more into the movie, I tried really hard to focus on the movie despite the alcohol LOL!), and this isn’t usually my kind of movie, but The Artist was a pretty clever film that is cute, entertaining, upbeat and can serve as a homage to past silent cinema.      It was excellently executed as with the style, direction, sly humor and acting. The leads …
Quick Tip by . December 04, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Anyone interested in a little more insight into this fantastic film should check out my interview with The Artist director, Michel Hazanavicius and star, Jean Dujardin ...    http://blacksheepreviews.blogspot.com/2011/11/men-behind-artist.html    Thanks for reading!
About the reviewer
Joseph Belanger ()
Hello Lunchers. I am a thirty-something guy making his way in Toronto. I am a banker by day and a film critic the rest of the time. Sensitive, sharp and sarcastic are just a few words that start with … more
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Music, Movies, Film, Drama, Romance, Reviews, Hollywood, Cinema, Julian Left, 2011, The Artist, Silent Film, Berenice Bejo, Jean Dujardin, Michel Hazanavicius

Details

Genre: Romance, Comedy, Drama
Release Date: 23 November 2011 (USA)
Screen Writer: Michel Hazanavicius
Runtime: 100 min
First to Review

"True Artistry"
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