The Artist (2011)

The Artist (2011)
  • Time: 100 min
  • Genre: Comedy | Drama | Romance
  • Director: Michel Hazanavicius
  • Cast: Jean Dujardin, Bérénice Bejo, John Goodman


Outside a movie premiere, enthusiastic fan Peppy Miller literally bumps into the swashbuckling hero of the silent film, George Valentin. The star reacts graciously and Peppy plants a kiss on his cheek as they are surrounded by photographers. The headlines demand: “Who’s That Girl?” and Peppy is inspired to audition for a dancing bit-part at the studio. However as Peppy slowly rises through the industry, the introduction of talking-pictures turns Valentin’s world upside-down.

One review

  • Set at the end of the 1920’s George Valentin is one of the top silent movie actors working in Hollywood and he enjoys the attention and success which this brings him. He accidentally bumps into aspiring actress Peppy Miller who idolises George and they begin to work together. He sees something in her, he knows she is talented but she needs to stand out from the crowd. And with George’s help she does just this.

    However, as Peppy gets more work and starts to become successful George has peaked in his career and as studio bosses stop the silent movie productions and move to the new ‘talkies’ he finds himself out of work. As he falls out of favour but Peppy is a sensation in the new medium and she becomes the biggest star in Hollywood.

    We see George losing his wife, his home and dignity. However, always by his side is his dog and butler Clifton (Cromwell). At times George’s canine companion is a scene stealer but he is magnificent to watch and brings humour even in unlikely scenes and you can’t help but smile.

    Shot in black and white and in 1:33 aspect ratio the film is true to the early days of cinema. From the wonderful opening credits through to the brilliant score which complements the story. Hazaanvicius has really captured the essence of the silent movie, a daunting task which is made easier by his excellent cast. Dujardin and Bejo excel in their respective roles and their chemistry is a joy to watch. Both are not only excellent actors but mesmerising dancers with routines which Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers would be proud of.

    I sat in a cinema which only had a few other patrons in it. I was able to sit at the back of the cinema directly under the projection booth. This added to the atmosphere as I could hear the workings of the projector, the mechanical sounds really complimented the silent film and I would urge anyone who goes to see this film to sit as close to the projector as possible.

    Please go and see this film. It is a master class of early cinema which is compelling and enjoyable to watch. This film will not appeal to everyone and I had my own reservations about it before viewing it. However, I’m glad I did and you will be too.

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