Saturday, March 3, 2012

The Artist - Movie Review

Starring Jean Dujardin, Berenice Bejo, John Goodman, James Cromwell, Penelope Ann Miller, Missi Pyle, Malcolm McDowell, Joel Murray and Ken Davitian.
Directed by Michel Hazanivicius.


Finally, finally, finally got to see the Best Picture winner. I wish I'd seen it early, maybe at a film festival. Some movies can't live up to the hype. I thought Slumdog Millionaire did, as I saw after many sites were calling it the front-runner to win best picture. This one, well, of the nine Best Picture nominees, I've now seen eight. And I think The Artist is probably fourth or fifth best of them. It's in good company; it's worth seeing.

It's a throwback formulaic plot, harkening back to the really old days of silent movies. George Valentin (Jean Dujardin) is the king of movies in 1927. Ah, but this novelty called "sound" is coming along. George skoffs it as a fad and is content to keep making silent movies, but the world's about to pass him by. While we see his fall, we also see the rise of Peppy Miller (Berenice Bejo), a spunky gal who thrives in talkies.

The movie is basically a silent movie. Beyond the score, there are some times when sound is used to clever effect. It also succeeds to a large degree based on Dujardin's charm. He has a 10,000-watt smile and the movie hinges on his ability to act with his face. He's great, as is Bejo.

So don't expect the Best Movie of 2011, but it is a good movie worth hunting down.

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