Have you ever spoken to someone you had a crush on and for the rest of the day you carry a goofy little smile on your face? That’s how I feel about The Artist. I had a goofy smile through most of this movie.
Starring: Jean Dujardin, Berenice Bejo, John Goodman, James Cromwell, Penelope Ann Miller
Premise: It’s 1927 and George Valentin (Jean Dujardin) is the hottest silent movie star. By a random chance encounter, aspiring actress Peppy Miller (Berenice Bejo) stumbles into the spotlight when she accidently trips over him. On the cusp of the rise of the talkies, Peppy skyrockets into stardom, and George struggles to stick to his guns and continue to make silent films while everything else around him crumbles.
My Review: At first glance this movie seems simple, the plot straight forward, and the silent movie soundtrack and theme a gimmick. But if that’s what you see when you watch this movie, then you’re watching the wrong movie. This movie was funny and beautiful, and touching, and filled me with a sense of nostalgia even though these movies were made WELL before my time.
I think this movie was a success BECAUSE it was so simple. Now-a-ways we expect – I expect – a twist or something unusual to happen that throws me off my guard. I found the fact that there was no twist extremely refreshing. All throughout the movie I had a nagging feeling in the back of my mind that someone had some devious plot and deceitful intensions. But there was none of that. This movie was simply a joy.
Besides the novelty of the silent film, the fine directing and cinematography, the acting is a big part of what helped make this movie feel authentic. Berenice Bejo is gorgeous. Her beauty is one of those classic beauties like Charlize Theorn, Ashley Judd, or Morena Baccarin. She played Peppy Miller with such joy and light and her big expressive features were perfect for this silent film. But this movie was Jean Dujardin’s movie. He just has star presence. He’s one of those guys that seem completely cheesy and yet utterly charming at the same time. No one else could have done what he did in this movie because he has that star quality. I love George Clooney and Ryan Gosling as much as the next girl, but they could have never in a million years, pulled this movie off. The star quality of Jean Dujardin is what made this movie a success – well that and his eyebrows.
Overall, this movie was definitely one of the greats of 2011. I suggest you catch it in the theater if you can. If anything just see it for Uggie the Super Dog. It’s good, clean, happy fun and will leave you walking out of the theater with a goofy little grin on your face and a bounce in your step.
Rating: 4 Stars