Review: The Artist (2012)

The Artist is a French romantic film thats also silent and in black and white. The film stars Jean Dujardin (99 Francs), Bérénice Bejo (Modern Love) and Uggie the Dog (Water for Elephants). It’s directed by Michel Hazanavicius (Mes Amis).

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 (Berenice Bejo), it seems the sky’s the limit – major movie stardom awaits. The Artist tells the story of their interlinked destinies.

The Artist. A film that has gained near universal critical acclaim. It is rather special as well. Why’s that? Well, the reason is because its a modern made silent and black & white film. But this is very in keeping with the story because its about a silent film star struggling with the demand of modern talkies.

Jean Dujardin who plays silent actor George Valentine. He’s the lead and main star in every aspect of the film. He his Hollywood royalty and is the superstar. Dujardin gives a pretty magnetic performance as its must be challenging to act silently. His face is very expressive which helps what the mood is and looks every bit a 1920’s star should.

Berenice Bejo plays spiffy upcoming actress Peppy Miller. A woman who admires and is infatuated with George Valentine. She literally stumbles into the beginning of her fledgling acting career with the invention of the talkies. This causes mixed emotions as the two stars clash professionally as one career rises as another diminishes.

The Artist also stars a little four legged friend that is equally as amazing and stands his own grand with the other cast. Uggie the Dog, who is wonderful. For an animal he has impeccable timing and training. The scenes with him and George Valentine are some of the best in the film. We also have a great support cast of John Goodman, James Cromwell and Malcolm McDowell.

The Artist indeed a wonderful and charming film. It’s hard not to dislike it and get swapped away. It’s a bold film as well that people clearly wanted to see. Especially in climate of high CGI sequels in 3D that have as much depth as the shallow end of a kids pool. The music is dazzling and emotive since it plays a huge part for a silent film. Will it sweep the board with awards? Yes. Does it deserve to? My honest opinion is no compared with some other films, but that’s a different issue. The Artist is a must see.


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