If you told me last year that I’d be proclaiming a silent B/W film the best picture of 2011, I’d call you crazy but that’s exactly what I’m doing! When I was sent a pitch about The Artist a few weeks ago, I watched the trailer and slowly realized that no one was talking! I asked my contact if this happened to be a silent film, he fessed up immediately but was convinced that I’d enjoy it and should definitely see it. Lo and behold, he was completely right, not only did I enjoy it, I loved every minute – the best film I’ve seen in awhile. I can’t ever recall watching an entire silent film, the concept was one of those yesteryear things you heard about yet never experienced, if you happen to be a film buff, you simply cannot miss seeing The Artist.
Starting out in 1927, it tells the bittersweet tale of a popular silent film star (played to perfection by sexy French actor Jean Dujardin), who takes a young starlet (French actress Bérénice Bejo) under his wing, she ends up becoming a huge talking cinema star but never forgets the man who first took notice of her as he’s carelessly tossed aside with the advent of talkies. I don’t want to reveal too much about the plot, you just need to go see it (it opened strong this past weekend in limited release and will slowly expand over the next few weeks), it was such an unexpected treat, I can’t praise it enough! Kudos to director Michel Hazanavicius who obviously faced an uphill battle making this film, which turned out to be pure movie magic, sure to garner a bunch of Oscar nominations, hopefully snagging a ton of wins!
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.