Monday, January 23, 2012

Movie Review Monday - The Artist

The Artist
I’ll wax on some, but this review of The Artist could be summed up in a few words: it’s a masterpiece.

Admittedly, my expectations were very low.

My reaction?

A silent movie?  Really?

To start, Jean Dujardin is magnetic as George Valentin, and he’s got a 1,000 gigawatt smile to back that magnetism. He’s completely believable and over-the-top as the silent actor being pushed out of his occupation by “the talkies”, the advent of sound into the modern movie of the time. His love interest and co-star is Peppy Miller, played by Bérénice Bejo, who is phenomenal as well. And his faithful driver Clifton, played by James Cromwell, is fabulous. It’s important to remember that the actors are getting across their personalities with no dialogue. Wow.

Of special note is Uggie, who plays Jack, George Valentin’s faithful canine companion. There needs to be an Oscar for best animal actor, for the simple reason that this dog needs to be nominated for it so he can win.

Part of the reason that I’m giving this 5/5 stars is that not only was it a great movie, but it actually broke through an unrealized prejudice that I had against silent movies.  Oftentimes I would see silent movies on some critics Top Ten Lists and thought. Enh? Really? But now, just by watching this movie, I want to give other silent movies a chance. Kudos to the director, Michel Hazanavicius.

All told, the movie is a story about love. Platonic love, romantic love, and love conquering all. It is a simple, powerful and beautiful tale. Run, don’t walk, to the theater.

5.0 / 5.0

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