Eleven years into the new millennium and a silent black and white film is most likely going to be nominated to win the Oscar for Best Picture, who would’ve thought? If I were told that by the end of 2011 an almost 2-hour silent film would be made, it would’ve been partly unbelievable. It happened though and while 1 hour and 40 minutes doesn’t feel that long, it feels a little longer when you’re watching a silent film, but regardless I’m glad I took the time to see the film because it was quite good and while it was in the same vain as Singin’ in the Rain in how it depicted to cinema’s metamorphosis into talkies, The Artist was better.
The Artist follows the relationship between an actor and an actress during the transition from silent films to talkies. The silent movie star, George Valentin, is a fading out of the picture as he was once one of the greatest actors in a now dying age. Peppy Miller, however, is a rising star as she’s making an impact on the world as a talking movie star. The film depicts the era with grace all while giving thanks to the kinds of people and films that paved the way for the films we watch and enjoy nowadays.
Berenice Bejo was fantastic as the quite literally peppy Peppy Miller. Jean Dujardin on the other hand gave a masterful performance that beautifully pays homage to the likes of the physical stars that helped creates the masterpieces of the 20s. The rest of the cast was just as enjoyable from James Cromwell as George’s noble driver and John Goodman fitting perfectly as the studio head. The film is filled with challenging and physical performances and none of them seem to be taken lightly.
The real star here is Michel Hazanavicius, the director of this modern day silent film. I have a lot of respect for this director just for taking his time to make this film. On top of that though, The Artist was a great film and a very memorable one. I’m not gonna say that I wished all films were silent nowadays, but I will say that The Artist was fantastic film and one I was very happy to have seen made.