Wednesday, 26 October 2011

***REVIEW: The Artist***

Dir.: Michel Hazanavicius
With: Jean Dujardin, Bérénice Bejo, John Goodman

I think I just found my new favourite film! And a new favourite actor!

At the moment ‘The Artist’ is triumphantly playing at various film festivals and my future husband, Jean Dujardin, won the best actor award at Cannes earlier this year and I think that the film will be nominated for an Oscar. There are plenty of reasons as to why.

This is one of the more daring films I have seen in the past few years – it’s silent! The director, Michel Hazanavicius has studied reels and reels of the silent era cinema to put together this love-letter to the early days of Hollywood. The story follows a very successful silent actor George Valentin in the years between 1927 and 1931 when “talkies” or sound films began their ascension. His unwillingness to follow this new direction results in his personal and professional demise. There is also a very touching love story between Valentin and Peppy Miller, an extra in some of his films.

Surprisingly, after about 5 minutes into the movie you completely forget that it is silent. The emotions, the story and the characters are so vibrant that the lack of conversation does not limit the film in any way. It is also highly humorous and I promise you, you will fall in love with Peppy, Valentin and his adorable dog Uggie. There are a number of great appearances by John Goodman, James Cromwell and others. I think one has to have a very expressive face to be able to star in a silent film - Bérénice Bejo is highly adept at that.

I am absolutely infatuated by Jean Dujardin and his brilliant moustache. Although he is known as a comedy actor in France, he successfully demonstrated his dramatic and dancing skills in this film. Also, this year’s most charming smile award goes to him (for the million-dollar smile that vanishes from his face when he hits hard times). Honestly, I cannot praise the film and the performances enough, it is so rare to see such a gem that has so much heart and soul and is not corny.

I watched ‘The Artist’ in Belgium, it is coming out in the States on 23 November and the UK release date has not been confirmed. It is also coming out in various European countries in the next few weeks. Go watch it!!! I can't wait to see it again.

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