Viewport width =
March 19, 2012 | by  | in Arts Film |
Share on FacebookShare on Google+Pin on PinterestTweet about this on Twitter

Review – The Artist

  • DIRECTOR: Michel Hazanavicius
  •  STARRING: Jean Dujardin & Berenice Bejopage35image52488page35image52760
page35image53576As an (almost) silent film shot in black-and- white, it would be easy to dismiss The Artist as a mere novelty—an overly-nostalgic tribute to Hollywood’s golden days. This would be wrong. Very wrong.

The Artist introduces us to George Valentin, the biggest silent film star in Hollywood circa 1927. At his latest premiere, he (literally) bumps into Peppy Miller, an aspiring actress. The chemistry between them is immediate, and George arranges for her to be cast in his next production.

With the advent of ‘talkies’ however, George’s stardom begins to wane; “people want new, talking faces,” the studio head sombrely informs him. Meanwhile, Peppy, embracing the new medium, finds her career going from strength to strength. The rest of the film chronicles how George responds to this maelstrom of change, both within the film industry and in his own life.

To a modern audience, the lack of sound can initially be disconcerting. I found myself leaning forward in my seat, waiting for a noise and being slightly put out when it did not arrive. Such consternation quickly passes, though: The Artist sparkles with life, displaying a witty sense of humour and a passion for the song-and-dance of Old Hollywood.

Further, the film treats its audience with a refreshing amount of respect. There are countless opportunities to manipulate the viewers’ heartstrings, but the film refuses to condescend in this way.

There are no sappy scenes of George weeping while big, emotive music plays in the background. Emotion is generated through clever use of symbols and motifs, as well as the wonderful silent acting of Dujardin and Bejo.

The Artist is everything a film should be— clever, dramatic, touching and funny. It deserves every Oscar that it won. I found myself disappointed when it ended, facing the prospect of returning to the real, talking world.

Share on FacebookShare on Google+Pin on PinterestTweet about this on Twitter

About the Author ()

Comments are closed.

Recent posts

  1. Cuttin’ it with with Miss June
  2. SWAT
  3. Ravished by the Living Embodiment of All Our University Woes
  4. New Zealand’s First Rainbow Crossing is Here (and Queer)
  5. Chloe Has a Yarn About Mental Health
  6. “Stick with Vic” Makes “Insulting” and “Upsetting” Comments
  7. Presidential Address
  8. Final Review
  9. Tears Fall, and Sea Levels Rise
  10. It’s Fall in my Heart

Editor's Pick

This Ain’t a Scene it’s a Goddamned Arm Wrestle

: Interior – Industrial Soviet Beerhall – Night It was late November and cold as hell when I stumbled into the Zhiguli Beer Hall. I was in Moscow, about to take the trans-Mongolian rail line to Beijing, and after finding someone in my hostel who could speak English, had decided