Conspicuous Trailer of the Week: The Artist

I haven’t been following all the hullabaloo of Cannes Film Festival that’s been going on since last Wednesday until this coming Sunday, May 22. I hadn’t even heard of this film until my hubby showed me yesterday just before church. He just said, ‘check this out, you’re gonna love this one.’ Sure enough, the trailer is absolutely delightful… check it out:

The premise is simple enough, The Artist tells the story of a 1920s Hollywood silent film era star George Valentin being ousted by the age of talking pictures. What’s unique is the format of the film itself, it’s an actual silent, black and white feature! A silent film? In this day and age?? No wonder it’s the talk of the town… it’s the perfect antithesis to all the bombastic 3D Summer blockbuster and as far away as a loud Michael Bay production as you can get. Even the black and white poster is beguiling in its homage to the silent era.

French director Michel Hazanavicius’ set the film in Hollywood and used French actors in the lead role: Jean Dujardin (George) and Bérénice Bejo (the talking pictures’ rising star Peppy Miller) and added more familiar faces to the mix, including John Goodman, James Cromwell and Penelope Ann Miller as George’s forlorn wife.

It’s currently hailed as the Palme d’Or‘s front-runner, receiving glowing reviews left and right. The Wrap’s review calls it “… pure joy, pure happiness…” and went on to remark that “These actors don’t overdo it the way silent movie actors did… Here we’re given just enough, with the right expressions and actors who are also dancers and therefore used to conveying intention and emotion through movement…”

Movieline also echoes such praise, “The Artist, in its joyous, unpedantic way, makes the code of silent movies easily readable and understandable. It begins as a novelty and ends as something more: A movie in which the present greets the past like a long-lost friend.”

I must say I’m enchanted by this, even though I’m generally not a fan by silent movies. It just looks so lively and fun, it makes me giddy just watching the trailer. The stunning visuals will likely render me speechless.


What are your thoughts on this movie or silent movies in general? Any interest in seeing this?

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32 thoughts on “Conspicuous Trailer of the Week: The Artist

  1. Paula

    Very interesting. I don’t really dig too many silent films for whatever reason. & it kind of reminds me of A Star is Born. but it interests me nonetheless. The typography is impeccable, if i may say so. Is the lead actor the guy from OSS 117?

      1. Paula

        i saw half of one on Sundance channel…he plays a pompous ass but he’s good at it & somehow you don’t hate him LOL

        1. Ahah, well if it’s supposed to be a Bond spoof then it’s appropriate that he’s a pompous ass… but a charming one at that, he..he..

        1. I haven’t either. I have seen a few Chaplin ones and Laurel & Hardy, my family were big on those. I think because we couldn’t speak English at the time, they were more accessible for my brothers and me.

          1. I saw only The Kid and City Lights, and they are great. I have no idea how was it possible to create such hilarious things without sound. I surely want to try The Gold Rush and Modern Times. And the one that is not by Chaplin – Sunrise: The Song of Two Humans. There is also a Silent Film blogathon at the site of a fellow blogger. Some silents are noteworthy.

  2. You’ve got me real excited about this one, Ruth. It’s almost like a dream… an actual silent film starring John Goodman, James Cromwell, Malcolm McDowell and countless others! The Palme D’Or is already out the door on this one, it’s sure to win!

    1. Glad to hear, Magnolia… it is quite dreamlike isn’t it? I don’t know what movies are up for Palme D’Or but this one sure gets my vote!

  3. Great post. I’ve heard a bit about this film but never got a chance to actually read anything about it. I think this is the type of film that will receive a ton of critical praise but won’t make the jump through to the average moviegoer. Unfortunately this type of film will probably have a tough time finding success due to its drastic deviation from the normal. I guess only time will tell, to see how well this movie does.

    1. Hi Trenton, welcome to FC and thanks for the comment. You’re probably right that average moviegoers might opt for the ‘talkies’ to see on the big screen, which is too bad because this is so unique and gives us a breather from all the bombastic stuff we see week after week. Don’t get me wrong, I like a loud action flick as much as the next guy but I also have an appreciation for something more off-the-beaten path as well.

      1. i agree that this will be a tough sell to most moviegoers…i’d love to see it in the cinema on a proper screen but i wonder if it will even make it to my Midwestern market :S

  4. SOLD!! I am in, I love the whole concept. Taking it back to the beautiful age. With truly beautiful people, not the fake size zero mob!!

    Thanks for sharing Ruth. I want to see this now.

    C

    1. Wahoo Custard, loving your comment about ‘fake size zero mob’… yes Hollywood is chock full of people starving themselves! And for what?? They actually look better if they have meat on their bones like Sofia Vergara… she’s smokin’ hot!

  5. Vince

    Wow – this has remnants of A Star is Born for the new age! The trailer looks beautiful. This looks like a must see for sure!

  6. Oh this looks so good and as a huge fan of Dujardin I’m so sold on this. Plus it helps its getting fantastic buzz from Cannes:)

  7. Great idea. I have seen a few silents in my day. So I wouldn’t mind seeing a silent made w/ some of today’s sensibilities.

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