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Hollywood 1927. George Valentin (Jean Dujardin) is a silent movie superstar. The advent of the talkies will sound the death knell for his career and see him fall into oblivion. For young extra Peppy Miller (Bérénice Bejo), it seems the sky’s the limit--major movie stardom awaits. The Artist tells the story of their interlinked destinies.
The Artist is a love letter and homage to classic black-and-white silent films. The film is enormously likable and is anchored by a charming performance from Jean Dujardin, as silent movie star George Valentin. In late-1920s Hollywood, as Valentin wonders if the arrival of talking pictures will cause him to fade into oblivion, he makes an intense connection with Peppy Miller, a young dancer set for a big break. As one career declines, another flourishes, and by channeling elements of A Star Is Born and Singing in the Rain, The Artist tells the engaging story with humour, melodrama, romance, and--most importantly--silence. As wonderful as the performances by Dujardin and Bérénice Bejo (Miller) are, the real star of The Artist is cinematographer Guillaume Schiffman. Visually, the film is stunning. Crisp and beautifully contrasted, each frame is so wonderfully constructed that this sweet and unique little movie is transformed from entertaining fluff to a profound cinematic achievement. --Kira Canny
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The film is slightly speeded up to suggest the look of early silent films, although not as much as they would have been then, due to the limited number of frames per second that cameras of the earlier twentieth century could record.
‘The Artist’ is about a silent movie star who helps an unknown young actress to begin her career, only to see her become rich and famous while he is ruined when he cannot adapt to the new medium of films with sound. The story ends on a happier note.
In the quite interesting and extensive DVD extras (mostly in colour and with sound!) the leading actors look very different when not made up as their characters.
‘The Artist’ received many awards, including Oscars. This may owe a little to the film industry liking films about itself. I give it 4 stars rather than 5.
Even so, I did care about the characters and found making a black and white, silent film in the modern era an interesting choice partly because it is such an unusual thing to do. It is unlikely to have many imitators, but, just now and then, it works.
accompanied by amazingly original music by Ludovic Bource. Well done! I saw it for the first time on a flight back to the UK from the Far East last November (2016) and having lost my earphones in the dark, watched it without sound. On buying the DVD and watching the film again at home, I realise that there is no sound....except the music....until the very end of the film, when the talkies finally make their debut! If you haven't seen this film, you should, would be my recommendation, especially for those considering what gifts to give their beloved as a Valentine's present.
Has a number of funny moments - the dog became a star for a while after the film, and also plays some games with the fact that the artist is a star of the silent movie era.
It is about a star of the silent period of film making who has to confront the epoch changing event of the birth of the talkies. Although the main character has some desperate moments, it is primarily a comedy.
I found the middle section a bit over long and I didn't really understand the pivotal feature of the plot that silent movie stars couldn't adapt to the Brave New World of talkies. How come? Did he have a voice like Donald Duck? Sadly we shall never know.
So an entertaining family-friendly movie but nothing too special. Five stars for the dog though ...