The Artist---A Silent Movie Worth Talking About



I took my wife to see "The Artist" today.  She had her reservations about spending an afternoon with a silent movie, whatever  the critical acclaim.  But it's fair to say  she went into the theater a skeptic and left  a true  believer.   "The Artist" lived up to the lavish praise and then some. It has garnered 10 Academy Award nominations and is the heavy favorite to win Best Picture. Michel Hazanavisius has been nominated for Best Director and Original Screenplay; Jean Dujardin  for Best Actor. Berenice Bejo---who's married to Hazanavisius---for Best Supporting Actress. Dujardin and Bejo aren't household names in America, but they deserve to be. Dujardin plays George Valentin ( get the allusion?)  the romantic  silent film star whose world is turned upside down by the introduction of sound.  Bejo plays  Peppy Miller an aspiring actress smitten by George, who rises to stardom in the wake of his decline. Each gives a subtly nuanced and textured performance in a love story that tugs at your heart.

Everyone's experience with any movie will be unique. But I found the "Artist" a fascinating film on many levels. Uggie, George's Jack Russell terrier and constant companion, steals several scenes and was a real life-saver in the end. John Goodman, the director who bridged the transition from silents to talkies,  contributes a solid supporting role.

But enough can't be said about the musical score by Ludovic Bource.  It was a perfect fit for the film. It captured the mood, the tone, the atmosphere, and the swings in emotion with remarkable expressiveness.  Just before the film's climactic scene, I realized how the strong pounding  chords of the strings  reminded me of Bernard Hermann who did many of the Hitchcock scores. And then there it was---the Love Scene theme from "Vertigo", absolutely the most hauntingly beautiful movie music ever written.   That did it for me.

"The Artist" is the best movie of 2012. And it may be one of the best ever.





Leave a comment
  • I was wondering how you would like it. Jer and I should go see it.

  • In reply to Laurapartacz:

    I'm sure you'll like it. Dujarin won a SAG for Best Actor last night. It's a gem of a movie.

  • fb_avatar

    I saw "The Artist" a few weeks ago. I don't think that my husband was too keen on going but he was a good sport and kept an open mind. He really liked it and I LOVED it. I definitely think that it is best appreciated on the big screen as opposed to waiting to rent the DVD.

  • In reply to lisawalent:

    Thanks for the comment, Lisa. Couldn't agree more about the big screen. With words at a minimum, the acting is at the maximum in order to pull the whole thing off.

Leave a comment