“The Artist”: Simple Hollywoodland Glamour


Let’s be frank: Most movies I see are for two reasons 1) They have an actor I love in it or 2) Oscars preparation. I guess you can say I love plots, but generally if I’m paying, it’s one of the two reasons above.

Now you’re thinking, how can she prepare if she doesn’t even know what’s nominated yet?  Now I’ve made you ask yourself, when are the nominations? In case you were wondering, my girlfriend Jennifer Lawrence is announcing them January 24th. However, if you’re a savvy movie-goer or you at least open the paper, you will be quick to realize what movies most likely will be nominated and thus can pick the movies you can see ahead of time before the nominations… cue “The Artist”

“The Artist” is probably past the buzz of movie talk and it’s probably pretty drunk right now. I think it’s going to be a downright alcoholic when January 24th comes around. Here’s why:

This movie sustains energy for an hour and forty minutes. Yes, we know a lot of movies can do that, but the question is, could Mission Impossible 4 bring in it’s money if there was no sound, just background music? I didn’t think so. Maybe, but not likely.

“The Artist” captivated my audience. No one was talking, no one was munching their popcorn. Now why not? It’s not like they are going to miss a spoken line by chomping too  loudly. I can’t really describe why for everyone, but for me it was the old Hollywood Glamour of just making it big. “The Artist” reminded me very much of  Gene Kelly’s “Singin’ in the Rain”.

“The Artist” spans from 1927 to 1932. It deals with George Valentin, a silent film actor and Peppy Miller, a girl who accidentally falls into showbiz. “The Artist” like “Singin’ in the Rain” deals with the shift of silent films to talkies. While “Singin’ in the Rain” is a funny take on the shift of movies, “The Artist” does not.  George Valentin  will lose his job and in his place will be the girl he befriended, the charming Peppy Miller with her penciled-on beauty mark to make her special.  One of my favorite scenes is the staircase scene. Besides the optical illusion on my eyes, you see the connection Peppy and George have. She goes up the stairs and he goes down.

With no lines, the actors facial expressions are all they really have to tell their story: George Valentin and Peppy Miller are played respectively by Jean Dujardin and Bérénic Bejo. Each hold the screen as this old Hollywood glamour. A raise of an eyebrow or a tear down a cheek are just perfect. Another fabulous actor that can’t be forgetting is Valentin’s dog who is his faithful companion. John Goodman and James Cromwell get a favorable mention because Goodman is hysterical puffing his huge cigar making hollywood business as Cromwell acts as the dutiful butler.

Oscar Nominations:

  1. Best Picture
  2. Jean Dujardin: Best Actor in a Leading Role
  3. Bérénice Bejo: Best Actress in a Leading Role
  4. Best Art Direction
  5. Michael Hazanavicius: Best Directing
  6. Best Film Editing
  7. Best Original Score
  8. Best Original Screenplay
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