I saw the Artist about a month ago, and thought it absolutely superb. It’s recently cleaned up at the BAFTAs, and it looks to be a shoe-in for the Oscars. Well deserved.
Yes, the plot is thin – but as it’s a silent film, what do you really expect, Shakespeare?
The film is about the emergence of the ‘talkie’ and the often career-ending effect this had upon the silent stars. Essentially it’s ‘Singin’ in the Rain’ without the Singin’.
The style of the film, as you’ll know by now, is that it, itself, is a silent movie. Yes, that’s a conceit and one which has caused some people to shun the film unseen. A mistake. ‘Black and White’ and ‘Silent’ may not be common these days, but they’re not synonymous with ‘Bad’. If you deny yourself films with either of these tags, then you deny yourself some true greats. I’ve been talking this film up to anyone who’d listen, but have mostly got back "silent film?" – it’s great to be able to point to some awards!
Due to the lack of dialogue, the audience has to concentrate on the screen, and just watch – this is engrossing – when I saw the film, a pin could have been heard to drop, it was quite eery.
The introduction to the film is very clever, it introduces people into the world of the film very quickly – and soon one forgets the style of the film and becomes immersed, to the extent that the sequence where Jean DuJardin sits in front of his mirror and drinks a whiskey is absolutely shocking in its simplicity.
When I came out, I had a great big grin on my face, and I honestly don’t think I’ve ever seen a comparable film at the cinema. I’ve seen many great films, but nothing quite like this.
It’s fantastic that it’s got lots of awards, and this’ll prompt more people to see it at the Cinema. This really is a film which I don’t think would translate well to the small screen – so do try to make the best of the extension of screenings that the awards have earned it, and get along.
… and yes, the dog is as good as you’ve heard.