Movie Review: The Artist

8 Jan

One thing has got everyone talking about this film (apart from all the awards buzz) it’s a black and white silent movie. Receiving a lot of attention at Cannes this year, and a Best Actor award, this has a lot going for it. Gimmick? I thought so back in May but further along I was desperate to see this and the silent thing is completely forgotten about altogether.

Michel Hazanavicius directs Jean Dujardin as George Valentin, a silent movie star who is all the rage in Hollywood 1927. He’s an A-lister but all of that is put in jeopardy when the talkies start to become big. He meets upcoming star Peppy Miller (Hazanavicius’ wife, Bérénice Bajo) along the way and falls in love. But with one star on the rise and one on the decline, what happens?


Personally, I feel that the silent aspect gave it a lot more weight and made it feel far more sincere and heartfelt. It was used very cleverly, and it involved you with the movie much more. Although it is silent, there was a modern feeling behind it. Unlike a lot of silent movies at the time, it didn’t have the abrupt close ups of the face, it had a lot of tracking and medium shots that did make it look a lot more modern with a pretty throwback to the old days. The 4:3 aspect ratio was actually more apparent to me as we’re so used to widescreen now. Intertitles were also used very intelligently, and it’s apparent that Hazanavicius’ put a lot of effort into the planning behind this. While there is no screenplay as such, the story is crafted wonderfully and is executed with sparks flying.

Dujardin plays his role perfectly, with overdone gestures that are not cheesy. He’s bewitching, captivating and charming, a word that this movie has running through its veins. You’ll love him. Bajo is splendid too and definitely puts the pep in Peppy Miller. The cast feel like they’re doing this effortlessly and definitely make it feel like a silent movie.

It’s superbly produced and well made. Stylistically appealing and edited excellently. Music is used to create some noise during the film, just like those days. It creates mood and atmosphere perfectly. It’s lovingly imagined and delicately constructed with a care for every scene. There are tons of throwbacks to cinema that movie buffs will adore. Simple but elegant are two words that describe it well for me.

The plot will not change your life. But it’s innocent and delightful. It will charm you to bits. I was completely swept away by it, falling for it head over feet. This might sound far too corny but there are no words that I can use to describe this movie. I left with a massive smile on my face, a wonderful piece of cinema that will delight film lovers for sure but it’s certainly a crowd pleaser that will be enjoyed be everyone.

Rating: 5/5


14 Responses to “Movie Review: The Artist”

  1. redplace January 8, 2012 at 11:55 am #

    I just happened to stumble upon this but I’m glad I have. Fantastic review. Now, to watch it 😉

    • aculturedlad January 8, 2012 at 11:59 am #

      Thanks for the comment!

      That’s very nice of you to say! Please go and see it right now!

      • redplace January 8, 2012 at 12:03 pm #

        Haha, yes I will 🙂 thank you also for visiting!

  2. colincarman January 8, 2012 at 4:18 pm #

    This is the last of 2011’s “fine” films I’ve yet to see; I changed my blog name, btw, for your BlogRoll (you’re the only one on mine b/c you review quality films). Happy New Year.

  3. Nick January 8, 2012 at 6:00 pm #

    I agree with everything you said about this movie. Fantastic review mate

    • aculturedlad January 9, 2012 at 2:33 pm #

      Thanks for the comment!

      That’s very kind of you to say! Glad you enjoyed it as well!

  4. Ingrid January 8, 2012 at 11:01 pm #

    I had very little interest in this but you’ve really made me want to see it. Nice review.

    • aculturedlad January 9, 2012 at 2:34 pm #

      Thank you for commenting!

      I think it is very easy to be turned off by this movie. The plot is nothing extraordinary and won’t change your life and the whole silent aspect can appear to be a gimmick but it’s a really wonderful film. Definitely go and see it! You’ll have a lot of fun watching it!

  5. Judy January 9, 2012 at 12:20 am #

    Glad to hear you enjoyed this so much – must agree that the two leads are both excellent. It’s a film I definitely want to see again. Enjoyed your review:)

    • aculturedlad January 9, 2012 at 2:35 pm #

      Thanks for the comment!

      I really did enjoy this a lot. The leads were great and so were the support but those two really nailed the different style of acting. I plan on seeing it again very soon as well!

      Love your blog too!

  6. Marshall January 9, 2012 at 8:48 pm #

    There is a screenplay, and it’s actually quite well thought out!

    Click to access the-artist.pdf

    • aculturedlad January 14, 2012 at 7:18 pm #

      Thanks for the comment and sharing this!

      Really interesting to read. It shows how much effort Hazanavicius put into this film. I really enjoyed it 🙂

  7. Buddy January 10, 2012 at 11:29 am #

    I thought this was a good film, a must see. Thanks for the great review 😉

    • aculturedlad January 14, 2012 at 7:19 pm #

      Glad you liked it! I find it hard to believe that people can’t enjoy this film.

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