I saw The Artist at The Charles Theater during a Sunday matinée. The place was packed and the credits rolled to applause from the audience, myself included. Peopled clapped. At a movie. How many times have you had that happen? It hasn’t happened that often to me.
I’m completely convinced The Artist is going to take home the Best Picture Academy Award. I still haven’t seen The Tree of Life of The Descendants, so maybe I’m not the most qualified to judge. But…
I love this film.
Yes, the plot is a little predictable. There wasn’t a single moment that I didn’t see coming. And making a silent movie about the era of silent films could (and should) be called a gimmick.
But none of that matters.
Director Michel Hazanavicius sweeps you up in his vision and you’re just along for the very enjoyable ride. Jean Dujardin and Bérénice Bejo are a delight to watch on screen. The dog is adorable. The music is amazing. The editing and cinematography are perfect.
It all just works.
Dujardin is definitely a star. He made me laugh and he damn near made me cry. All without saying a word. Bejo has a beauty and freshness that only black-and-white film can do justice. It’s a cliché, but a true one, to say she lights up the screen. However, all the actors, no matter how small the role, bring their A-game.
This movie is a love letter to Hollywood and it includes many of the character actors that make Hollywood great. If you love film and TV the way I love film and TV, you’ll spend the entire time recognizing people such as John Goodman, James Cromwell, Missi Pyle, Beth Grant, Joel Murray and Malcolm McDowell. [NB: Sorry, Penelope Ann Miller. I didn’t recognize you. IMDb had to clue me in.]
I dare you to go see this film and leave the theater without a smile on your face.