Friday, June 29, 2012
The Artist (2011) review
A worthy Oscar-winner, but not the best of 2011. Either way, it's still visually pleasing, artistically filmed, and full of classic charm.
PLOT:George Valentin (Jean Dujardin) is the Hollywood-hit silent film star in the late 1920s. Everybody loves him and he is rich with a wife and a dog which appears in the pictures with him. One day after the premiere of one of his films, he "runs into" a young lady named Peppy Miller (Berenice Bejo) and immediately starts to joke with her. During the filming of another of his works, he finds Peppy being cast as an extra. While they're filming, Peppy keeps messing up and George just keeps playing along. George meets her in his dressing room and gives her a little pep talk on her acting career. After this, her career starts to soar from extras in his movies to even bigger parts. All is going great for them until one day when Peppy gets into a film with sound, or a "talkie". That is the day where everything turns around. George, being an expert silent actor and not letting go of his art, is fired from his current studio and forced to make his own living, but with the talkies being the new thing in Hollywood, his career starts to fall. Because of his pride in his art, his life starts to change drastically. It's an interesting plot idea executed artistically.
ACTING:I mentioned before that acting in silent films has to be done carefully considering there's no dialogue. Well, the acting in here is brilliant for a modern-day silent film. Everybody did a pretty great job. Jean Dujardin played a brilliant and accurate role as George, capturing his laughs to his roles to his stresses. Berenice Bejo also played a well-done part as Peppy. I could really sense her feelings. The other shiners were John Goodman as Al Zimmer, Penelope Ann Miller as Doris, and Malcolm McDowell as the butler with honorable mentions to Bill Fagerbakke as the tuxedo policeman and the dog, Uggie, as himself. This animal was actually pretty well-trained.
SCORE:The score was mainly made up of mood-fitting piano and string tunes that fit the era, plus a fitting song. I believe it was pretty well composed for a film of this type.
OTHER CONTENT:This film was very well-made. It was charming in the same old way, visually pleasing in matching the time, and film with an artist's style and hand. I have to give credit to the director for filming this with such a vision and interest that it all comes together magically. The only problem I found with this is that for a silent film, it's too long. It starts to lag in the middle and lose a bit of its wonderful, nostalgic magic. I also kind of thought the character development had a flaw or two, but I just let it go. It was a worthy Oscar-winner, as "The King's Speech" was, but I believe there was a better of 2011. (HP7.2, Tree of Life)
OVERALL,an awesome silent film with an interesting plot, brilliant silent acting, well-composed score, similar charm, pleasing visuals, and artistic execution, but it lags a bit in the middle and loses its nostalgic charm.