Sunday, January 29, 2012

The Artist

If you went to your favorite cinema today, you might have trouble finding a movie that wasn't playing in 3-D. Most days, you'd never even dream of finding a black and white silent movie. Before it even came out, The Artist was getting attention for being different. I wanted to find out if it was more than just a gimmick.

"Silent movie" doesn't just describe the way this film was made. It also describes the content. The movie focuses on a silent movie star living in Hollywood during the late-twenties and early-thirties, played by Jean Dujardin. His entire career changes when he's introduced to the concept of "talkies." Interestingly enough, Dujardin didn't have much fame as an actor until he starred in a silent movie.

Dujardin's acting is perfect and very expressive. If I were giving out awards, he would definitely be nominated for best mustache and best smile. Seriously, that's the sharpest pencil-stache I've ever seen. It's incredible. And his smile just lights up the entire screen. His co-star, Berenice Bejo, looks like she's walked right out of the twenties just to star in this film. She's a very classic beauty. Uggie the dog also provides a great performance.

Director Michel Hazanavicius provides excellent cinematography, emphasizing on mirrors, shadow, and smoke. All of these things work even better because of the lack of color. The soundtrack is phenomenal. Despite the silence from the actors, the orchestra is not playing the entire film. There are pauses in certain places to help accentuate the seriousness of the scene.

The Artist is a unique film that celebrates the glorious style of the twenties and thirties while examining the pride and struggle of one man. I really hope that this sparks a silent movie revival similar to vinyl in the music industry.

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