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The Artist is, at first glance, a gimmick. A modern day silent film, shot in glorious black and white, with a 4:3 ratio. Nobody has made movies like this in over seventy years, and that's the point. Film buffs might get a kick out of it, but can people get passed the very basic gimmick? Well, truth is, by the end of the film you'll probably agree with me that this was the only way a film like this could have been prevented.

Color photography, widescreen, even synchronized sound are nothing more than tools used to tell a story. Even today, some directors feel Black and White is the preferred manor to tell the story. This story, about an aging silent film actor who resists the talking picture with all of his might, and the tragedy that befalls him because of it, is a story that could only be told in this fashion.

Truth is, the star of The Artist (Jean Dujardin as George Valentin) says more in this movie without a single word than most movie characters ever can say. There will no doubt be a lot of Oscar buzz for this brilliant actor, but James Cromwell and John Goodman often times steal scenes as a Butler and a Studio Mogul respectively. But make no mistake, this is an actor's film, and Jean Dujardin is the one who deserves the highest praise.

The Artist is a comedy drama willed with real, raw emotion, highlighted by some of the most amazing performances of the year. It not only manages to capture the magic of silent films, it may even be enough to bring a whole new love of classic films to a new generation. I have a feeling that, as "The Artist" opens up in more theaters, classics like "City Lights" will be disappearing from the shelves.

**** out of *****
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I do want to see this film. It's interesting to do a sort of homage to silent films in times like these. I love artistic movies, and I'm a huge fan of Frecnh movies. However, I find it unfair that this film might be receiving any regular Oscar noms, considering it is mostly French. A film called, We Need To Talk About Kevin was amazing, yet won't be considered for any noms, because it's considered international. It's American-British. How is the Artist, a French film, not International as well? Other than best foreign film, any other nomination would make zero sense.
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This was well written.
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I absolutely want to see this. Generally speaking, I do enjoy silent films when I watch them - it irritates me that a lot of people over here have complained that it's a silent film. Too many movie-goers want to be spoon-fed now, and can't interpret films on their own. Last time I commented that this was 'sad', I was told to 'get over it and move on.' Why should I? I'm sorry, but I'd rather watch something genuine and engaging than utter drivel (as seems to be churned out most of the time, now). Anyway.

I can't really say too much, as I haven't seen it yet, but it looks gorgeous. I'd love to see this be something of a 'return to form' - but from my understanding, it's more a love-letter to silent films, yes? Regardless, I think I'll love it. Unfortunately, I don't think as many people will appreciate it for what it is. Bottom line? I HAVE to see this.
I am dying to see this, but none of the movie theaters near me are showing it. crying
I thought it was absolutely amazing, and the male lead deserves ALL THE AWARDS.

It takes a lot of talent to be able to convey emotions and ideas without speaking aloud. As well, I thought it manipulated sound really well, as there are scenes where you can hear all other sound except speech.

My one complaint was that the dog was too adorable and it distracted you all the time. If the dog wasn't on screen, no matter what the scene was, you were wondering "Where's the dog?"
Isn't Uggie in it? I want to watch this movie.
Liebe Liese's avatar

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I want to see this movie as well. I am a big fan of classic and silent films, so this is really awesome. Considering the style of acting for a silent film, now a days, can be much more challenging for the modern actor, I hope this film get noticed for its brilliance.
i agree. wink
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I have seen this movie, and it is really really great. Well, I live in Paris, so that was quite easy, and I'm quite sad for people in US cities who can't see it. Wait for the DVD now.
The actors are perfect, they play exactly in the good style : like their characters, and when it's in movies, like the characters they're supposed to be in old movies ! Jean Dujardin is AWESOME, he's become a star like Jean-Paul Belmondo was in the 60s, if you see. Bérénice Bejo (hey, I studied in the same high school ! but years later...), who was also in the paroic spy movie "OSS 117 : Cairo, nest of spies", is lovely and fresh in this role. John Goodman IS like a Hollywood boss. And Uggie... is the best acting dog I've seen since years.
The director successed in filming a 1920s movie in the 21st century.

OK, I'm incredibly enthusiastic also because I love silent and old movies.

The most wonderful thing is maybe the idea. Imagine this guy, Michel Hazanavicius :
"_ Hey, what kind of movie works nowadays ?
_ Well, blockbusters with trillions of dollars of digital SFX, big US stars...
_ Really ?
_ And familiar stories, that can't surprise the public, so he feels good...
_ I see. Any technical aspects ?
_ The top is now... 3D ! Yes, 3D is great for making money ! And it's modern !
_ I understand... So, let me think... We gonna make a french silent movie with black and white pictures about a love in old Hollywood with french actors and the special effect will be a jumping dog ! Wahahaha !
_ Hum, boss, er..."

Wiss pléjer ! (as says Dujardin, it's supposed to be "with pleasure" wink
[-REB-]'s avatar

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You make a lot of very good points, I wish I could be as articulate as you. whee All I can add to the conversation is: If you haven't seen The Artist, I would suggest it. It's a very good movie.
It looks like an interesting movie. I've never seen a black & white silent film before.
I loved The Artist. I've tried watching silent films before but I often end up taking them differently than they were intended. Like I found Nosferatu hilarious when it's supposed to be a horror movie.

I also got to say that dog should have won an Oscar. There should really be a category for animal actors.

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