HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Lu Over the Wall
She's Funny That Way
Vox Lux
Aftermath, The
Five Fingers for Marseilles
Jupiter's Moon
Favourite, The
Mysteries of the Gods
Coming Home
De Sade
Patti Cake$
Hellbound
Final Destination 2
Romance
Bros: After the Screaming Stops
Cockleshell Heroes, The
Mule, The
Sunday in the Country
Nutcracker Fantasy
Spellcaster
Hipsters
Executive Action
Captain Marvel
Zombie Girl
Can You Ever Forgive Me?
Rhinoceros
Monkey King 3, The
Adventurers, The
Stripped to Kill
Daughter of Dr. Jekyll
Aladdin's Magic Lamp
Christopher Robin
Hole in the Ground, The
Daniel
Blue Christmas
Death Trip
She's Missing
Return of the Soldier
Shaft
Summer Lovers
   
 
Newest Articles
The Hole in the Ground: Director Lee Cronin Interview
She's Missing: Director Alexandra McGuinness Interview
Woo's the Boss: Last Hurrah for Chivalry & Hand of Death on Blu-ray
Get Ahead in Showbiz: Expresso Bongo and It's All Happening
Outer Space and Outta Sight: Gonks Go Beat on Blu-ray
Tucked: The Derren Nesbitt Interview
Locomotion Pictures: The Best of British Transport Films on Blu-ray
Roman Scandals: Extreme Visions from Ancient Rome
Spider-Wrong and Spider-Right: The Dragon's Challenge and Into the Spider-Verse
Monster Dog: Cujo on Blu-ray
For Christ's Sake: Jesus Christ Superstar and The Last Temptation of Christ
Not In Front of the Children: Inappropriate Kids Movies
Deeper into Ozploitation: Next of Kin and Fair Game
Between the Wars: Babylon Berlin Series 1&2 on DVD
Hard Luck Story: Detour on Blu-ray
   
 
  Artist, The Talking About A RevolutionBuy this film here.
Year: 2011
Director: Michel Hazanavicius
Stars: Jean Dujardin, Bérénice Bejo, John Goodman, James Cromwell, Penelope Ann Miller, Missi Pyle, Beth Grant, Ed Lauter, Joel Murray, Bitsie Tulloch, Ken Davitian, Malcolm McDowell, Basil Hoffman, Bill Fagerbakke, Nina Siemaszko, Stephen Mendillo
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Rating:  8 (from 2 votes)
Review: The year is 1927 and movie star George Valentin (Jean Dujardin) is attending the premiere of his latest film, hoping for a good reaction. He can't quite face watching it with the audience, so stays backstage with his co-star (Missi Pyle) and his director (John Goodman) and others involved with the production as the screening draws to a close. There is a pause... and the audience bursts into rousing applause, exactly what George wanted to hear, so he doesn't hesitate in rushing out to greet his fans. They include one Peppy Miller (Bérenice Bejo), who he will soon encounter...

And what a fateful meeting it will be, for she will have a considerable influence on George's life in the future. The Artist was writer and director Michel Hazanavicius' tribute to Hollywood, which coming from a Frenchman was not the only thing that rankled with some viewers, particularly when this won a brace of Oscars including Best Picture. There were those dismissed it as a novelty, those who who could not understand why a work so slavishly recreating an artform that so many had consigned to history should be so celebrated, and even those who could not concieve of a silent movie winning Best Score (for Ludovic Bource), as if the style was to allow these efforts to play out in literal silence.

Of course, until about 1927 silent movies weren't called that at all, they were simply called movies, and this jarring effect that the industry suffered when talkies caught on is a large part of the plot here. But it was not only the silents Hazanavicius was paying homage to, as there were references to other movies throughout, such as the breakfast scene in Citizen Kane (not to mention the smoky screening room), or the concerns of Singin' in the Rain about the sound revolution, or even the romance of each version of A Star is Born, which saw one career on the up as their partner's spiralled downwards. Yet in spite of all these allusions, there was much about The Artist which was very much its own.

George and Peppy meet cute outside the cinema in front of the photographers when she accidentally bumps into him when retrieving her dropped purse, and soon her face is all over the newspapers, which leads to her big break at the studio the next day when she gets a minor role as a dancer. Presently George, whose marriage to a frosty wife (Penelope Ann Miller) is going nowhere fast, is quietly smitten with Peppy, but aside from wishing her all the luck in the world he does not act on his attraction, and when she begins to attain name above the title stardom thanks to her ease with sound film, he is too troubled by his own failure to adapt to change to consider anything but his dwindling fortunes with his Charlie Chaplin-esque refusal to talk on screen in his pet project resulting in a flop.

So fittingly for a story about obsolescence, this was created in a format that was itself obsolete, and George finds himself yesterday's man. What made this such a delight was that the technique of the silents, from the acting to the plotting to the visuals, was meticulously refashioned in the service of art which was now in danger of being forgotten (though this film's success sparked an revival of interest in the cinema of the twenties and even before). There was such affection shown towards the entertainers of yesteryear, with Dujardin the perfect embodiment of the likes of Douglas Fairbanks or John Gilbert while offering an apt lightness of touch to the comedy, that while we we were well aware they would be lost in the mists of time eventually, The Artist operated as a heartfelt thankyou to them for lifting the spirits even when times were tough. For what was really a tale about getting old and the dread of irrelevancy, this was understandably bittersweet, but so lovely in its execution that only the hardest of hearts would fail to be won over, if only because of the dog.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 2091 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Paul Shrimpton
  Desbris M
  Rachel Franke
Enoch Sneed
  Derrick Smith
Darren Jones
   

 

Last Updated: