The Artist has been nominated for a whopping ten Academy Awards. If it doesn’t win them all there is something deeply wrong with the world. (To be fair, it would be acceptable if it lost Best Original Screenplay to Midnight in Paris).
The Artist is the kind of movie that reminds people of why they love the movies so much. It fully encompasses the majesty, the magic, all of the excitement and all of the emotion. Everything movies can do, The Artist does impeccably.
It’s a silent movie about the movies. We follow George Valentine, a superstar in the world of silent film, as he is faced with the advent of talkies. Valentine, played by Jean Dujardin, has all the charm of a Clark Gable or Dick Van Dyke. Right from the get-go you love the man, you are in his corner and have no plans of going anywhere. Dujardin is flawless, his face is so expressive, his movements perfectly emulating the style of those classics from the black and white days of cinema.
Berenice Bejo plays opposite Dujardin as Peppy Miller, an aspiring actress who, with the help of Valentine, gets into showbiz. Her meteoric rise with the talkies is contrasted by Valentine’s fall, and is heartbreakingly tragic at times. She’s just as charming, just as loveable a character as Valentine. It’s just difficult to reconcile the two given their world. And that’s what the movie really gets into.
It gets melodramatic in that classic Hollywood way, there’s laughter, tears, and a dog that does tricks. What’s not to love? I know this is a short review, it isn’t because I don’t have anything else to say, it’s just that I’m finding it difficult to put my love for this movie into words. I’ll just have to resort to striking orchestral music and title cards in future, it somehow seems more appropriate.
Just go see The Artist.