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The Artist

December 31, 2011

Doris: I’m unhappy, George.
George Valentin: So are millions of us.

The Artist skillfully concocts a jubilant tale focusing on the silent film era by injecting a stimulating sense of nostalgic merriment throughout. The golden egg carrying the film is actor Jean Dujardin, who dispenses one of the fiercest performances of the year, along with his trusty canine companion Uggie. His character, George Valentin, struggles adjusting into a world where silent movies are out and “talkies” are in. The plot alone embodies pure cinematic magic. The Artist is one of the year’s finest films. I only hope it would have received a much deserved wide release so everyone could have the same joyous experience I had.

A few months back, Martin Scorsese’s Hugo gave me a greater ineptness for the art of silent cinema. Now, director Michael Hazanavicius has furthermore indulged my curiosity with an authentic silent film. The main threshold of The Artist is not to release a silent film in this era; the film’s main determination is to put the audience into the moonstruck atmosphere of industrial shifts. Hazanavicius ever so diligently does the impossible, giving the audience the sense that this is not only a silent film, it is a real film trapped in the harrowing world that we once knew and canonized as the silent film era.

The film looks fantastic, all thanks to cinematographer Guillaume Schiffman. Schiffman ever so gently creates a believable landscape of the silent era. The movie was shot in classic, boxy 1.33:1 ratio, just as in silent-film days, giving the audience yet again a strong sense of nostalgia. Costume design is superb too. Valentin’s suspenders are a notable aspect shown throughout, injecting yet another nostalgic value into this divine film. The rapid pacing of the film is very reminiscent of classic silent films such as Le Voyage dans la Lune (one of the first films, also featured in Hugo). The tech crew on this film did a superlative job that really sets a strong tone throughout.

Now, let’s go onto what symbolizes this work of art as a perfect film. Jean Dujardin gives a marginally spotless performance in such a badgering and depressing role. Every second Dujardin graces the boxy screen, the audience lights up and becomes completely immersed in this wonderfully crafted character. Come Oscar time, Dujardin is a shoe-in for best actor. Berenice Bejo is wonderful as Peppy Miller, the main reason that talkies are in and the silent era is dead. Bejo embezzled the term perfection in a laugh-filled performance that some may dissect as a love interest for Dujardin’s character. Other notable supporters include Malcolm McDowell (A Clockwork Orange) and John Goodman (The Big Lebowski), both in solid roles. I could not have been more satisfied with the acting here.

The Artist is a one of a kind film that breathes new life into the silent film industry. Happy new year everyone!

The Artist: 5 out of 5

3 Comments leave one →
  1. January 6, 2012 5:34 pm

    F*** YES! this is my favourite film of 2010, And I am glad to see you give it a 5/5! Excellent points too. It was just such an excellent homage to early hollywood. Im new to WordPress, come see me sometime (my blog I mean haha) 🙂

  2. January 10, 2012 4:12 pm

    another GREAT review for The Artist! nice! do you think it will have a big clean sweep at the awards ceremonies this year? (I still have yet to be able to have the pleasure of watching this one.)

    -T (previously TheScarletSp1der)

  3. Ryan Bennett permalink
    February 1, 2012 10:42 pm

    AYYY YO MATT. This movie was ballin

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