9 comments on “The Artist

  1. At the risk of sounding like a complete Phillistine, at one point I wondered whether the film should have been named “The Con-Artist”. It was a clever concept, but after about 15 minutes the novelty wore off for me. Now, I appreciate some of the old silent flicks, and their historical importance; but do I want to go to the cinema and sit through a silent film complete with mugging and over-dramitization for the camera?–not really. And I really don’t get all the hype over this film…At least they found an actor with as many teeth and as big a smile as Gene Kelly. I didn’t think that was possible.
    On the positive side, Berenice Bejo was truly impressive and gave an outstanding performance. Even without the sound, I came to care about and like her character…very impressive! Technically, the film was brilliant, particularly the Art Direction and the Costumes. And that dog! He was my favorite character…loved him…An Oscar for the Uggie the Dog!
    I’m sure my comments will irritate many of my fellow film buffs. Sorry, folks. Obviously we can’t all agree on every film.

  2. This was a very well-made film and had its moments where it captures the whole spirit and essence of the silent film era but it’s not that life-changing experience that everybody says it is. Still, a good flick though and I do think it does still deserve the Best Picture Oscar just because I don’t think The Descendants would be a very good winner that will last for the ages. Good review.

  3. Sounds good. I suppose its a neat idea, but really, I have to make the argument that sound in film is a vast improvement. It is important to look back and remember the brilliance of the pioneers of film. But there’s a reason that no one has made a silent film between 1927 till now.

    • Ian,
      that was kind of my point. to appreciate the past without necessarily feeling the need to recreate it. It really was kinda cute for a while; but soon wore off. I’ve got several silent films in my DVD collection but really have to be in a special frame of mind to sit and watch for an extended period. Here, the final scene was just too clever with the 30 seconds of sound. But the visuals were impressive…and that dog!

      • Was the dog a throwback to Asta from The Thin Man movies?
        I have to admit that I don’t own any silent films. The only one I would consider buying is City Lights if it was released on Bluray.

      • Good thought…Uggie even looks kinda like Asta.
        As far as Silent films, I have the standard “Wings”, “Birth of a Nation”, and “Intolerance”; but also Keaton’s “The General” and King Vidor’s “The Crowd” was great!
        and the original “Ben-Hur” is a masterpiece in its own right.

  4. Loved it! I don’t get the complaints about the gimmick (not calling anyone out in particular). To me that’s like saying Memento wouldn’t be the same without the editing and chronologically moving backwards. The gimmick is there to serve a purpose and I thought this movie did it wonderfully and the two leads (I know berenice is nominated for supporting, but she’s a lead) are perfect. Can’t wait to rewatch it…just such an enjoyable movie.

  5. I finally caught up with the Artist and share the reservations more than the enthusiasm. My guess is that it is a film that is terribly popular among movie professionals and among people who rarely go to the movies (what an odd combination…). The novelty of the format does wear off quickly for those who watch a lot of films professionally or privately, and then it comes down to the actors’ performance (pretty good here) and to story-telling. And in terms of story, The Artist does not have to offer too much, I am afraid… my notes: http://thomas4cinema.wordpress.com/2012/02/03/the-artist-michel-hazanavicius-2011/

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