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?