Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Artist (Michel Hazanavicius, 2011) Review

Oh good, an Oscar winner. We should be fine then...right? It's not like it's a silent film or anything...what's that? It is? Huh. That's innovative...sort of. I guess that because it's a silent film from...nowadays then that means this is a special film. If this was released in the age of silent films then this would just be another film. Nothing special...but it wasn't. It was released last year. Let's take a look.

George Valentin (Jean Dujardin) is a silent film star at the top of his game who everyone adores such as director Al Zimmer (John Goodman). Whilst waiting outside of a movie premiere, film fan Peppy Miller (Bérénice Bejo) accidentally finds her way out of the crowd and in front of Valentin who creates a photo opportunity by planting a kiss on Peppy's cheek. This moment gets Peppy noticed and decides to follow in Valentin's footsteps and audition for film roles. She slowly begins to be a hit and is escalated to the top. Her success affects Valentin who's career goes the opposite way and ends up becoming a failed actor since he won't act in talking films which have recently start to occur. 

This was a silent movie? I couldn't tell (not literately, it was clearly silent but I'm trying to make an impact here!). It has such as great plot that really reels you in but it's the execution that really works. This is an action powered film...thing. There is dialogue but, like most silent films, it's told through text boxes. It truly creates the feel of being in the silent era. I even saw this in a classic cinema which truly enhanced the experience. There are a few moments with ACTUAL sounds that convey the situation well but they always come as a surprise and actually made me jump. The music is great but considering that's all the comes as no surprise.

Was I the only one surprised by the cameos from random actors. I really mean random. Malcolm McDowell has a good scene and he does very well. He looks like he belongs in silent films...when he's not creeping the hell out of me in The Clockwork Orange. Another cameo I spotted was Bill Fagerbakke as a policeman. Who? The voice of Patrick Star...weird I know. This won loads of Academy Awards such as Best Picture and Best Leading Actor. You can see why after watching this...obviously. Jean Dujardin does a very good job of playing Valentin and this is probably one of the best films of last year so I can see how it did win best picture.

The Artist is a great film that does what a film is supposed to do: tell a story. The execution is fantastic and the music and acting further enchances it's quality. The only problem is that it may be hard to watch again since it was SO GOOD the first time around. Plus it may not be for everyone...especially people who think CGI blockbusters like Avatar or Prometheus are "DA BEST FILM EVERZ! OMG DEM GREPHICS!" since the idea of a silent film may put them off. It didn't put me off though and I'm glad I saw it in the probably won't be as good on DVD so it's an experience that HAS to be in the cinema.

A cinematic treat. The execution of a modern silent film is great and the narrative and acting really make this film stand out.

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