The Artist — a film by Michel Hazanavicius

(Image courtesy: http://www.soundonsight.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/the-artist-movie-poster-2011-10207010171.jpg)

I don’t always agree with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences when they dole out their awards once a year in the biggest glam-fest of Hollywood. I still love, love, LOVE watching the Oscars though, and religiously do so, setting my alarm clock so that I can catch the live telecast, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that I agree with the choices.

But this time…oh, THIS time they were absolutely spot-bang-on! And how! I mean, a silent movie — in THIS day and age! And not just silent, but black-and-white and silent! Wow!

“The Artist” is a triumph! I just loved it! It was perfect in every which way!

The look, feel and emotions of the film — perfect.

Jean DuJardin as George Valentine — perfect.

Berenice Bejo as Peppy Miller — perfect.

James Cromwell as Clifton and John Goodman as Al Zimmer and even Penelope Ann Miller as George’s unhappy wife, Doris — perfect.

The direction by Michel Hazanavicius — perfect.

Twenties Hollywood — perfect!

The music — divine! (You thought I was going to say ‘perfect’, didn’t ya, didn’t ya? Well, gotchya!)

Uggie the doggie — adorable! (Gotchya again ;-D)

It’s a simple movie about a simpler time and what happens when simple starts to get complex. Is all change good? Can everyone be expected to change? What happens to those who don’t want to or can’t? Again, the answer is simple — they adapt.

Of course the movie is also about human egos and frailties. Thoughtless or flippant remarks made without thinking about their impact on another person. About remorse, love and making-up. About stars fading away and stars being born. About saying it all without saying a word.

There are no grand, complex plot lines which require a few stiff drinks or a puff on a special cigarette to help you work out what it is the film is trying to say. No crude theatrics. No gratuitous sex, violence or nudity…not even a tiny spark except for a certain hand gesture which our young have happily picked up thanks to Ranbir ‘Rockstar’ Kapoor. No fireworks…by which I mean SFX of the ‘Avatar’ and ‘Transformers’ modules; no, not even of the ‘Ben-Hur’ calibre.

It’s a clean movie. It’s a simple movie. It’s a sweet, solid, touching movie. Jean DuJardin is classic, b’n’w, old Hollywood handsome and his smile just makes you want to be his toothbrush! (and ummm, I do mean that in a sexy-cat way, of course). And Berenice Bejo! Oh she just lights up the screen with her presence with such a mobile face that exhibits a hundred-and-fifty different emotions a minute! She looked the part of the quintessential flapper girl of the twenties and her eyes spoke such volumes that I almost forgave her for having a body shape that I last had when I was six-years-old.

Granted I haven’t seen Martin Scorcece’s ‘Hugo’ or Woody Allen’s ‘Midnight in Paris’ (which, something tells me, I’m going to love, own and claim as ‘made for me’) or even ‘The Descendants’ by Alexander Payne, but I loved ‘The Artist’ from start to finish and I think it was definitely worthy of an Oscar.

Yes, I know I’m a soppy, sentimentalist, but so, it would seem, is Michel Hazanavicius and the voting  jury of the 84th Academy Awards.

Go on. Give the movie a shot. It might surprise you. It certainly did my husband.

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “The Artist — a film by Michel Hazanavicius

  1. I have been wanting to see The Artist for a while now, ever since I came to know about it being the silent film in year 2011 in Hollywood :)) And then it goes and wins the number of Oscars that it did… Oh now after reading your note on it I am really keen to watch it!!
    And you MUST watch Woody Allen’s ‘Midnight in Paris’. ‘Midnight in Paris’ is a love letter to a city and, like ‘Manhattan’, opens with an adoring montage, set to jazz, of the city by day and night. As in so many of Allen’s films, our troubled hero is a writer, Gil played by Owen Wilson. He is struggling to complete a book he hopes will mark his crossover from Hollywood hack to novelist and wanders the street by night looking for inspiration. It’s on those journeys that he finds himself, by way of hitching a lift in a classic Peugeot, in a Paris of another age, mixing in the 1920s with the likes of Scott Fitzgerald, Salvador Dali and Ernest Hemingway. He even romances Picasso’s mistress. It sounds crazy, but very mesmerising at the same time. I absolutely loved the movie and have seen it innumberable times already. I think you’ll love it too.

    • OMG!! I absolutely can NOT wait to see it!! I’m a person who keeps imagining what it would be like to meet my favourite artists and writers…to travel back in Time and absorb the spirit and culture of various places…

      Sigh! I really am waiting to see the movie!

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