Monday, February 6, 2012

Movie Monday: The Artist

For months everyone has raved and raved about The Artist. And I waited and waited for it to come to OKC theaters. Finally it arrived! Could it possibly live up to the hype?


Steve and I saw it Saturday evening, and the theater was packed. This is mostly a blessing (we'll never get Indie films if no goes to them), but I was afraid it might end up a curse. I was annoyed by all the rattling of popcorn bags and tearing of candy wrappers -- I'm accustomed to going to early shows with smaller and less munchy crowds -- but within five minutes of the movie starting, all that noise stopped. Everyone was entranced. The only sound from the audience after that was when an older lady cried "What did he say? What did he say?" after a crucial scene. (Those of you who have seen the movie probably know EXACTLY when that question was asked.)

If you're a film history buff, a fan of Singing in the Rain, or always wished A Star is Born hadn't been quite so dark, you'll love this film. If you hate B&W, get bored and wiggly during silent films, or if your heart is two sizes too small, don't bother. (Heh.)

Two review blurbs I loved:
[The Artist is] a project so idiosyncratic, so unlikely, so simultaneously innocent and sophisticated that it could only have been devised by the French. (Read the entire review.)

In the end, that is the tragedy "The Artist" is really exploring, the death and extinction of a medium that brought the world together, that everyone could experience in the same way, never from the outside, never as a stranger. With delicacy and originality, it laments what went away. But it also performs a resurrection, because in Dujardin's performance we discover something extraordinary and lovely, the first truly great silent film performance in about 80 years. (This San Francisco Chronicle review made me cry a little.)

I have fallen deeply in love with this film, with Jean Dujardin and the rest of the cast, with sweet Uggie, and with the people who made this dream into a reality. Can't wait to see it again!

[Cross-posted from Livejournal]


  1. This is playing here locally and I was wondering about it.... might need to go check it out!

  2. Actually I'll quibble with you - I think people who assume they would probably get bored and wiggly during silent films (or have done so during bad ones) would find this movie a revelation. Because I did!

    1. That's a fair point. I'd just heard so much about people walking out of the theater when they realized it was silent that I wanted to make sure those who read my droolingly effusive review knew what they were in for.

  3. I did really enjoy this film, and it was really funny. I woukld recoomend it to anyone. However, since Jean Dujardin only has two words in the whole movie, I would have thought he would have practiced them until he could say them correctly (it takes place in Hollywood, you know). I had no idea he was French until his line: "wees pleshure." I immediately shouted out in a crowded theatre: "That guy's French!!!"

  4. I did not see what the caption read under the still picture at the end of the movie.