The Artist (2011)

December 26th, 2011
Author: Meredith Taylor

Director: Michel Hazanavicius

Cast: Jean Dujardin, Berenice Bejo, Uggie the dog

France  100mins

Hollywood 1927. Georges Valentin (Jean Dujardin) is a megastar of the silver screen.  An actor so convinced of his power and so proud that he refuses to move with the times and to have any truck with the ‘Talkies”.  Who insists on progressing a film project that’s destined to be a flop.  Whose imegawatt smile and Latin looks are no longer enough.  Times are a’ changing in the world of movies and cheeky Peppy Miller (Berenice Bejo) is now being feted by the studio as the new star in town.  Valentin discovered her and that’s a threat to his ego.

Enduring themes of pride, fame and vanity are all interwoven in this delightfully entertaining story. Who would have thought that a silent film shot in black and white, would make such a loud noise with the critics and viewers alike.  In the absence of words, the story works on a purely emotional level and this is the secret of its power.  This homage to Hollywood harks back to an old-fashioned era of love that is pure, yet achingly stylish. The irresistibly perky Berenice Bejo and Jean Dujardin give pitch perfect performances.  But the Oscar goes to Uggie, his lovable dog and trusty companion, who eventually saves the day.

Meredith Taylor

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